Artificial Intelligent Agents: Using History to Make Smart Eco-Friendly Buildings


ChacoCanyon0707Worthy Martin is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at UVa whose areas of interest include computer vision, human vision, robotics, genetic algorithms, image databases, and artificial intelligence.

Martin received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Texas-Austin. He currently serves as Associate Chair of the Department of Computer Science, and co-Director of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, which explores and develops information technology as a tool for scholarly humanities research. He also served as advisor to the National Initiative for Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH).

Martin’s primary research interest is dynamic scene analysis in the context of time-varying imagery, as well as the fundamental concepts involved in machine perception systems composed of independent processes operating in distributed computing environments and cooperating to form interpretations of image sequences. His research has been applied in combinatorial optimization problems including feature selection for signal classification. He is also interested in content-based retrieval from image databases and multi-source data fusion algorithms with emphasis on neural network implementations.

kdwKamin Whitehouse is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at UVa. His research focuses on energy-efficient smart buildings, which is at the intersection of the disciplines of Computer Science and Building Science. In particular, he focuses on computer system performance and reliability as well as building performance factors like energy conservation. Interesting approaches he has used in his projects include learning thermostats, improved water heating, and non-intrusive occupant tracking in the home to better manage resource usage.

Whitehouse is working on a joint project with Microsoft called The Data Furnace, which is a proposal to install servers into homes, apartment buildings, and office buildings, to use the exhaust heat as a primary heat source for the building. This would save energy, save money, and improve performance of Web Applications.

Whitehouse has done work with embedded systems, networking, and distributed systems. The technologies created by these projects have been downloaded over 50,000 times and been used by over half a dozen companies to create new products, and are currently running in millions of embedded devices around the world. He earned his BA and BS from Rutgers University and his MS and PhD from UC Berkeley.


The session would start with an introduction to Artificial Intelligence by Worthy Martin, who would explain causal transduction, how agents perceive the environment over time and make decisions or commands based on the belief state of an agent formed by percepts in history. He would discuss machine learning, which would be crucial for understanding Whitehouse’s work as well. He could talk about how Artificial Intelligence is similar to neural networks and aspects of transduction in vision.

In addition, Martin would talk about how he has used technology to serve as a way of recording cultural history to educate policymakers, the cultural community, and the public and create a platform for the community to collaborate in sharing ideas, resources, experience and research, to learn from each other and make cultural material accessible to all, develop projects, programs, and partnerships to benefit the cultural community.

mult viewpoint sys

His discussion could lead us to ask the questions: What is intelligence? What makes it unique or different for plants, animals, humans, and computers? How do these different agents respond to factors in the environment over time? How are signals classified? Where do we draw information from and how does its accessibility affect its effectiveness in communicating information to the public and representing culture?

Whitehouse would then share his work on making eco-friendly buildings and ideas on energy conservation and resource management. His work is perfect for our interdisciplinary project because he focuses on technology, the environment, and buildings. Essentially, this will lead us to think about how introducing computers into systems can change the shape and drive or enforce eco-friendly decisions in an automated way. There is an aspect of social transduction, since he analyzes how the presence and interactions of occupants in the home with spaces and utilities effect the energy usage in the home.

occupant tracking

Occupant Tracking

The overall theme of this session would be using computer systems to create a culture that is mindful of design and the environment to optimize energy and resources over time.


Artificial Intelligence: Foundations of Computational Agents

National Initiative for Networked Cultural Heritage

Mapping Connections

AI Diagram


Proposed by Clarisse Abalos.