SOVEREIGN: A Self-Organizing, Vision, Expectation, Recognition, Emotion, Intelligent, Goal-Oriented Navigation System
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Both animals and mobile robots, or animats, need adaptive control systems to guide their movements through a novel environment. Such control systems need reactive mechanisms for exploration, and learned plans to efficiently reach goal objects once the environment is familiar. How reactive and planned behaviors interact together in real time, and arc released at the appropriate times, during autonomous navigation remains a major unsolved problern. This work presents an end-to-end model to address this problem, named SOVEREIGN: A Self-Organizing, Vision, Expectation, Recognition, Emotion, Intelligent, Goal-oriented Navigation system. The model comprises several interacting subsystems, governed by systems of nonlinear differential equations. As the animat explores the environment, a vision module processes visual inputs using networks that arc sensitive to visual form and motion. Targets processed within the visual form system arc categorized by real-time incremental learning. Simultaneously, visual target position is computed with respect to the animat's body. Estimates of target position activate a motor system to initiate approach movements toward the target. Motion cues from animat locomotion can elicit orienting head or camera movements to bring a never target into view. Approach and orienting movements arc alternately performed during animat navigation. Cumulative estimates of each movement, based on both visual and proprioceptive cues, arc stored within a motor working memory. Sensory cues are stored in a parallel sensory working memory. These working memories trigger learning of sensory and motor sequence chunks, which together control planned movements. Effective chunk combinations arc selectively enhanced via reinforcement learning when the animat is rewarded. The planning chunks effect a gradual transition from reactive to planned behavior. The model can read-out different motor sequences under different motivational states and learns more efficient paths to rewarded goals as exploration proceeds. Several volitional signals automatically gate the interactions between model subsystems at appropriate times. A 3-D visual simulation environment reproduces the animat's sensory experiences as it moves through a simplified spatial environment. The SOVEREIGN model exhibits robust goal-oriented learning of sequential motor behaviors. Its biomimctic structure explicates a number of brain processes which are involved in spatial navigation.