Daniel N. Nikovski

Daniel N. Nikovski
  • Biography

    Dan's research is focused on algorithms for reasoning, planning, and learning with probabilistic models. His current work is on the application of such algorithms to hard transportation problems such as group elevator control and traffic prediction. He also has varied interests in the field of data mining.

  • Recent News & Events

    •  NEWS    MERL Researchers Present Thirteen Papers at the 2023 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
      Date: May 29, 2023 - June 2, 2023
      Where: 2023 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
      MERL Contacts: Anoop Cherian; Radu Corcodel; Siddarth Jain; Devesh K. Jha; Toshiaki Koike-Akino; Tim K. Marks; Daniel N. Nikovski; Arvind Raghunathan; Diego Romeres
      Research Areas: Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Optimization, Robotics
      Brief
      • MERL researchers will present thirteen papers, including eight main conference papers and five workshop papers, at the 2023 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) to be held in London, UK from May 29 to June 2. ICRA is one of the largest and most prestigious conferences in the robotics community. The papers cover a broad set of topics in Robotics including estimation, manipulation, vision-based object recognition and segmentation, tactile estimation and tool manipulation, robotic food handling, robot skill learning, and model-based reinforcement learning.

        In addition to the paper presentations, MERL robotics researchers will also host an exhibition booth and look forward to discussing our research with visitors.
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    •  TALK    [MERL Seminar Series 2023] Prof. Stefanie Tellex presents talk titled Towards Complex Language in Partially Observed Environments
      Date & Time: Tuesday, February 14, 2023; 12:00 PM
      Speaker: Stefanie Tellex, Brown University
      MERL Host: Daniel N. Nikovski
      Research Area: Robotics
      Abstract
      • Robots can act as a force multiplier for people, whether a robot assisting an astronaut with a repair on the International Space station, a UAV taking flight over our cities, or an autonomous vehicle driving through our streets. Existing approaches use action-based representations that do not capture the goal-based meaning of a language expression and do not generalize to partially observed environments. The aim of my research program is to create autonomous robots that can understand complex goal-based commands and execute those commands in partially observed, dynamic environments. I will describe demonstrations of object-search in a POMDP setting with information about object locations provided by language, and mapping between English and Linear Temporal Logic, enabling a robot to understand complex natural language commands in city-scale environments. These advances represent steps towards robots that interpret complex natural language commands in partially observed environments using a decision theoretic framework.
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  • Awards

    •  AWARD    Mitsubishi Electric US Receives a 2022 CES Innovation Award for Touchless Elevator Control Jointly Developed with MERL
      Date: November 17, 2021
      Awarded to: Elevators and Escalators Division of Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc.
      MERL Contacts: Daniel N. Nikovski; William S. Yerazunis
      Research Areas: Data Analytics, Machine Learning, Signal Processing
      Brief
      • The Elevators and Escalators Division of Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc. has been recognized as a 2022 CES® Innovation Awards honoree for its new PureRide™ Touchless Control for elevators, jointly developed with MERL. Sponsored by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the CES Innovation Awards is the largest and most influential technology event in the world. PureRide™ Touchless Control provides a simple, no-touch product that enables users to call an elevator and designate a destination floor by placing a hand or finger over a sensor. MERL initiated the development of PureRide™ in the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic by proposing the use of infra-red sensors for operating elevator call buttons, and participated actively in its rapid implementation and commercialization, resulting in a first customer installation in October of 2020.
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    •  AWARD    Daniel Nikovski receives Outstanding Reviewer Award at NeurIPS'21
      Date: October 18, 2021
      Awarded to: Daniel Nikovski
      MERL Contact: Daniel N. Nikovski
      Research Areas: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning
      Brief
      • Daniel Nikovski, Group Manager of MERL's Data Analytics group, has received an Outstanding Reviewer Award from the 2021 conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS'21). NeurIPS is the world's premier conference on neural networks and related technologies.
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    •  AWARD    Best conference paper of IEEE PES-GM 2020
      Date: June 18, 2020
      Awarded to: Tong Huang, Hongbo Sun, K.J. Kim, Daniel Nikovski, Le Xie
      MERL Contacts: Daniel N. Nikovski; Hongbo Sun
      Research Areas: Data Analytics, Electric Systems, Optimization
      Brief
      • A paper on A Holistic Framework for Parameter Coordination of Interconnected Microgrids Against Natural Disasters, written by Tong Huang, a former MERL intern from Texas A&M University, has been selected as one of the Best Conference Papers at the 2020 Power and Energy Society General Meeting (PES-GM). IEEE PES-GM is the flagship conference for the IEEE Power and Energy Society. The work was done in collaboration with Hongbo Sun, K. J. Kim, and Daniel Nikovski from MERL, and Tong's advisor, Prof. Le Xie from Texas A&M University.
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    •  AWARD    Best Student Paper Award at the International Conference on Data Mining
      Date: November 30, 2017
      Awarded to: Yan Zhu, Makoto Imamura, Daniel Nikovski, Eamonn Keogh
      MERL Contact: Daniel N. Nikovski
      Research Area: Data Analytics
      Brief
      • Yan Zhu, a former MERL intern from the University of California at Riverside has won the Best Student Paper Award at the International Conference on Data Mining in 2017, for her work on time series chains, a novel primitive for time series analysis. The work was done in collaboration with Makoto Imamura, formerly at Information Technology Center/AI Department, and currently a professor at Tokai University in Tokyo, Japan, Daniel Nikovski from MERL, and Yan's advisor, Prof. Eamonn Keogh from UC Riverside, whose lab has had a long and fruitful collaboration with MERL and Mitsubishi Electric.
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    •  AWARD    SICE 2008 Best Paper Award
      Date: July 1, 2008
      Awarded to: Nishiuma, N.; Goto, Y.; Kumazawa, H.; Komaya K.; Nikovski, D. and Brand, M.
      Awarded for: "Travel Time Prediction using Singular Value Decomposition"
      Awarded by: Journal of the Society of Instrument and Control Engineers of Japan
      MERL Contact: Daniel N. Nikovski
      Research Area: Data Analytics
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  • Internships with Daniel

    • OR2107: Robot Learning Algorithms

      MERL is looking for a highly motivated and qualified PhD student in the areas of machine learning and robotics, to participate in research on advanced algorithms for learning control of robots and other mechanisms. Solid background and hands-on experience with various machine learning algorithms is expected, and in particular with deep learning algorithms for image processing and object detection. Exposure to deep reinforcement learning and/or learning from demonstration is highly desirable. Familiarity with the use of machine learning algorithms for system identification of mechanical systems would be a plus, along with background in other areas of automatic control. Solid experimental skills and hands-on experience in coding in Python and PyTorch are required for the position. Some familiarity with classical mechanics and computational physics engines would be helpful, but is not required. The position will provide opportunities for exploring fundamental problems in incremental learning in humans and machines, leading to publishable results. The starting date of the internship is flexible, and applications outside of the peak summer season are encouraged, too.

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  • MERL Publications

    •  Kong, C., Yerazunis, W.S., Nikovski, D., "Stochastic Learning Manipulation of Object Pose With Under-Actuated Impulse Generator Arrays", International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications (ICMLA), DOI: 10.1109/​ICMLA58977.2023.00024, December 2023, pp. 112-119.
      BibTeX TR2023-151 PDF
      • @inproceedings{Kong2023dec,
      • author = {Kong, Chuizheng and Yerazunis, William S. and Nikovski, Daniel},
      • title = {Stochastic Learning Manipulation of Object Pose With Under-Actuated Impulse Generator Arrays},
      • booktitle = {International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications (ICMLA)},
      • year = 2023,
      • pages = {112--119},
      • month = dec,
      • doi = {10.1109/ICMLA58977.2023.00024},
      • url = {https://www.merl.com/publications/TR2023-151}
      • }
    •  Zhou, A., Sun, H., Kitamura, S., Nikovski, D., "A Decision-Dependent Chance-Constrained Planning Model for Distribution Networks Under Extreme Weather Events", IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Europe (ISGT-Europe), DOI: 10.1109/​ISGTEUROPE56780.2023.10408310, October 2023.
      BibTeX TR2023-133 PDF
      • @inproceedings{Zhou2023oct,
      • author = {Zhou, Anping and Sun, Hongbo and Kitamura, Shoichi and Nikovski, Daniel},
      • title = {A Decision-Dependent Chance-Constrained Planning Model for Distribution Networks Under Extreme Weather Events},
      • booktitle = {IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Europe (ISGT-Europe)},
      • year = 2023,
      • month = oct,
      • doi = {10.1109/ISGTEUROPE56780.2023.10408310},
      • url = {https://www.merl.com/publications/TR2023-133}
      • }
    •  Shaw, S., Jha, D.K., Raghunathan, A., Corcodel, R., Romeres, D., Konidaris, G., Nikovski, D., "Constrained Dynamic Movement Primitives for Collision Avoidance in Novel Environments", IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), DOI: 10.1109/​IROS55552.2023.10341839, September 2023, pp. 3672-3679.
      BibTeX TR2023-121 PDF Video
      • @inproceedings{Shaw2023sep,
      • author = {Shaw, Seiji and Jha, Devesh K. and Raghunathan, Arvind and Corcodel, Radu and Romeres, Diego and Konidaris, George and Nikovski, Daniel},
      • title = {Constrained Dynamic Movement Primitives for Collision Avoidance in Novel Environments},
      • booktitle = {IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)},
      • year = 2023,
      • pages = {3672--3679},
      • month = sep,
      • publisher = {IEEE},
      • doi = {10.1109/IROS55552.2023.10341839},
      • issn = {2153-0866},
      • isbn = {978-1-6654-9190-7},
      • url = {https://www.merl.com/publications/TR2023-121}
      • }
    •  Zhang, J., Nikovski, D., Kojima, T., "3T-Net: Transformer Encoders for Destination Prediction", The Chinese Control Conference, DOI: 10.23919/​CCC58697.2023.10240616, July 2023.
      BibTeX TR2023-094 PDF Presentation
      • @inproceedings{Zhang2023jul3,
      • author = {Zhang, Jing and Nikovski, Daniel and Kojima, Takuro},
      • title = {3T-Net: Transformer Encoders for Destination Prediction},
      • booktitle = {The Chinese Control Conference},
      • year = 2023,
      • month = jul,
      • doi = {10.23919/CCC58697.2023.10240616},
      • url = {https://www.merl.com/publications/TR2023-094}
      • }
    •  Khan, I., Sun, H., Kim, K.J., Guo, J., Nikovski, D.N., "Combined Detection and Localization Model for High Impedance Fault under Noisy Condition", IEEE PES General Meeting, DOI: 10.1109/​PESGM52003.2023.10252992., July 2023, pp. 1-5.
      BibTeX TR2023-093 PDF
      • @inproceedings{Khan2023jul,
      • author = {Khan, Imtiaj and Sun, Hongbo and Kim, Kyeong Jin and Guo, Jianlin and Nikovski, Daniel N.},
      • title = {Combined Detection and Localization Model for High Impedance Fault under Noisy Condition},
      • booktitle = {2023 IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting (PESGM)},
      • year = 2023,
      • pages = {1--5},
      • month = jul,
      • doi = {10.1109/PESGM52003.2023.10252992.},
      • url = {https://www.merl.com/publications/TR2023-093}
      • }
    See All MERL Publications for Daniel
  • Software & Data Downloads

  • Videos

  • MERL Issued Patents

    • Title: "System and a Method for Training a Neural Network Having Autoencoder Architecture to Recover Missing Data"
      Inventors: Laftchiev, Emil; Yan, Qing; Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 11,698,946
      Issue Date: Jul 11, 2023
    • Title: "System and Method for Robotic Assembly Based on Adaptive Compliance"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.; Romeres, Diego; Jha, Devesh; Yerazunis, William S.
      Patent No.: 11,673,264
      Issue Date: Jun 13, 2023
    • Title: "System Control Based on Time-Series Data Analysis"
      Inventors: Zhang, Jing; Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 11,599,104
      Issue Date: Mar 7, 2023
    • Title: "Method and system for touchless elevator control"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.; Yerazunis, William S.
      Patent No.: 11,518,646
      Issue Date: Dec 6, 2022
    • Title: "System and Design of Derivative-free Model Learning for Robotic Systems"
      Inventors: Romeres, Diego; Libera, Alberto Dalla; Jha, Devesh; Nikovski, Daniel Nikolaev
      Patent No.: 11,389,957
      Issue Date: Jul 19, 2022
    • Title: "System and Method for Anomaly Detection in Time-Varying System Operations"
      Inventors: Zhang, Jing; Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 11,353,859
      Issue Date: Jun 7, 2022
    • Title: "System and Method for Thermal Control Based on Invertible Causation Relationship"
      Inventors: Laftchiev, Emil; Nikovski, Daniel N.; Romeres, Diego
      Patent No.: 11,280,514
      Issue Date: Mar 22, 2022
    • Title: "System and Method for Automatic Error Recovery in Robotic Assembly"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel Nikolaev; Jha, Devesh; Romeres, Diego
      Patent No.: 11,161,244
      Issue Date: Nov 2, 2021
    • Title: "Predictive Classification of Future Operations"
      Inventors: Jha, Devesh; Zhang, Wenyu; Laftchiev, Emil; Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 10,996,664
      Issue Date: May 4, 2021
    • Title: "METHODS AND SYSTEMS TO PREDICT A STATE OF THE MACHINE USING TIME SERIES DATA OF THE MACHINE"
      Inventors: Farahmand, Amir-massoud; Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 10,729,382
      Issue Date: Aug 4, 2020
    • Title: "Methods and Systems for Discovery of Prognostic Subsequences in Time Series"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.; Zhu, Yan; Farahmand, Amir-massoud
      Patent No.: 10,712,733
      Issue Date: Jul 14, 2020
    • Title: "Optimizing Operations of Multiple Air-Conditioning Units"
      Inventors: Raghunathan, Arvind U; Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 10,161,649
      Issue Date: Dec 25, 2018
    • Title: "System and Method for Group Elevator Scheduling Based on Submodular Optimization"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.; Raghunathan, Arvind U; Ramalingam, Srikumar
      Patent No.: 10,118,796
      Issue Date: Nov 6, 2018
    • Title: "Method for Anomaly Detection in Time Series Data Based on Spectral Partitioning"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.; Kniazev, Andrei; Jones, Michael J.
      Patent No.: 9,984,334
      Issue Date: May 29, 2018
    • Title: "Model Predictive Control with Uncertainties"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.; Di Cairano, Stefano; Zhao, Yiming
      Patent No.: 9,946,241
      Issue Date: Apr 17, 2018
    • Title: "Method for Detecting Power Theft in a Power Distribution System"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.; Wang, Zhenhua
      Patent No.: 9,945,889
      Issue Date: Apr 17, 2018
    • Title: "Method and System for Scheduling Elevator Cars in a Group Elevator System with Uncertain Information about Arrivals of Future Passengers"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 9,834,405
      Issue Date: Dec 5, 2017
    • Title: "Method for Learning Exemplars for Anomaly Detection"
      Inventors: Jones, Michael J.; Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 9,779,361
      Issue Date: Oct 3, 2017
    • Title: "Method and System for Selecting Power Sources in Hybrid Electric Vehicles"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.; Farahmand, Amir-massoud
      Patent No.: 9,637,111
      Issue Date: May 2, 2017
    • Title: "Actions Prediction for Hypothetical Driving Conditions"
      Inventors: Harsham, Bret A.; Hershey, John R.; Le Roux, Jonathan; Nikovski, Daniel N.; Esenther, Alan W.
      Patent No.: 9,434,389
      Issue Date: Sep 6, 2016
    • Title: "Method and System for Autonomously Delivering Information to Drivers"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.; Harsham, Bret A.; Hershey, John R.; Brinkman, Dirk
      Patent No.: 9,305,306
      Issue Date: Apr 5, 2016
    • Title: "System and Method for Optimal Power Flow Analysis"
      Inventors: Raghunathan, Arvind U; Nikovski, Daniel N.; Gopalakrishnan, Ajit
      Patent No.: 9,280,744
      Issue Date: Mar 8, 2016
    • Title: "Method for Optimizing Power Flows in Electric Power Networks"
      Inventors: Raghunathan, Arvind U; Gopalakrishnan, Ajit; Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 9,184,589
      Issue Date: Nov 10, 2015
    • Title: "Method and System for Dynamically Adapting user Interfaces in Vehicle Navigation Systems to Minimize Interaction Complexity"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.; Hershey, John R.; Harsham, Bret A.; Le Roux, Jonathan
      Patent No.: 9,170,119
      Issue Date: Oct 27, 2015
    • Title: "Method for Predicting Future Travel Time Using Geospatial Inference"
      Inventors: Jones, Michael J.; Nikovski, Daniel N.; Geng, Yanfeng
      Patent No.: 9,122,987
      Issue Date: Sep 1, 2015
    • Title: "Method for Globally Optimizing Power Flows in Electric Networks"
      Inventors: Raghunathan, Arvind U; Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 9,093,842
      Issue Date: Jul 28, 2015
    • Title: "Method for Detecting Anomalies in Multivariate Time Series Data"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.; Jones, Michael J.
      Patent No.: 9,075,713
      Issue Date: Jul 7, 2015
    • Title: "Method for Scheduling Power Generators Based on Optimal Configurations and Approximate Dynamic Programming"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.; Zhang, Weihong
      Patent No.: 8,996,185
      Issue Date: Mar 31, 2015
    • Title: "Method for Operating Building Climate Control System Using Integrated Temperature and Humidity Models"
      Inventors: Xu, Jingyang; Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 8,958,921
      Issue Date: Feb 17, 2015
    • Title: "Method for Predicting Outputs of Photovoltaic Devices Based on Two-Dimensional Fourier Analysis and Seasonal Auto-Regression"
      Inventors: Zhang, Weihong; Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 8,942,959
      Issue Date: Jan 27, 2015
    • Title: "Method for Optimizing Run Curve of Vehicles"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.; Lidicky, Bernard
      Patent No.: 8,938,348
      Issue Date: Jan 20, 2015
    • Title: "Method for Determining Run-Curves for Vehicles Based on Travel Time"
      Inventors: Xu, Jingyang; Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 8,838,304
      Issue Date: Sep 16, 2014
    • Title: "Controlling Operation of Vapor Compression System"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.; Laughman, Christopher; Burns, Dan J
      Patent No.: 8,793,003
      Issue Date: Jul 29, 2014
    • Title: "Method for Predicting Travel Times Using Autoregressive Models"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 8,762,036
      Issue Date: Jun 24, 2014
    • Title: "Method for Determining Run-Curves for Vehicles in Real-Time Subject to Dynamic Travel Time and Speed Limit Constraint"
      Inventors: Xu, Jingyang; Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 8,660,723
      Issue Date: Feb 25, 2014
    • Title: "Method for Matching Elements in Schemas of Databases Using a Bayesian Network"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 8,577,857
      Issue Date: Nov 5, 2013
    • Title: "Method for Scheduling the Operation of Power Generators using Factored Markov Decision Process"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 8,566,266
      Issue Date: Oct 22, 2013
    • Title: "A Method for Converting Dynamical Systems with Continuous State Spaces into Markov Decision Processes with Discrete States"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 8,412,649
      Issue Date: Apr 2, 2013
    • Title: "HVAC Control System"
      Inventors: Forlines, Clifton L.; Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 8,412,381
      Issue Date: Apr 2, 2013
    • Title: "A Method for Predicting Time Series with Seasonal Components"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 8,315,961
      Issue Date: Nov 20, 2012
    • Title: "Method and System for Classifying Data in System with Limited Memory"
      Inventors: Jain, Ankur; Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 8,108,325
      Issue Date: Jan 31, 2012
    • Title: "Method and System for Determining Instantaneous Peak Power Consumption in Elevator Banks"
      Inventors: Brand, Matthew E.; Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 7,743,890
      Issue Date: Jun 29, 2010
    • Title: "Method and Apparatus for Representing and Classifying Microwave Back-Projection Radar Signals"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.; Jain, Ankur
      Patent No.: 7,671,786
      Issue Date: Mar 2, 2010
    • Title: "Method and System for Detecting Changes in Sensor Sample Streams"
      Inventors: Jain, Ankur; Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 7,555,399
      Issue Date: Jun 30, 2009
    • Title: "System and Method for Scheduling Elevator Cars Using Pairwise Delay Minimization"
      Inventors: Nikovski, Daniel N.; Brand, Matthew E.; Ebner, Dietmar
      Patent No.: 7,546,905
      Issue Date: Jun 16, 2009
    • Title: "System and Method for Scheduling Elevator Cars Using Branch-and-Bound"
      Inventors: Brand, Matthew E.; Nikovski, Daniel N.; Ebner, Dietmar
      Patent No.: 7,484,597
      Issue Date: Feb 3, 2009
    • Title: "Detecting and Diagnosing Faults in HVAC Equipment"
      Inventors: Peker, Kadir A.; Nikovski, Daniel N.; Radhakrishnan, Regunathan; Divakaran, Ajay
      Patent No.: 7,444,251
      Issue Date: Oct 28, 2008
    • Title: "Real-Time Retail Marketing System and Method"
      Inventors: Kato, Mamoru; Nikovski, Daniel N.; Divakaran, Ajay
      Patent No.: 7,240,834
      Issue Date: Jul 10, 2007
    • Title: "Method and System for Scheduling Cars in Elevator Systems Considering Existing and Future Passengers"
      Inventors: Brand, Matthew E.; Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 7,014,015
      Issue Date: Mar 21, 2006
    • Title: "Optimal Parking of Free Cars in Elevator Group Control"
      Inventors: Brand, Matthew E.; Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 6,808,049
      Issue Date: Oct 26, 2004
    • Title: "Method and System for Dynamic Programming of Elevators for Optimal Group Elevator Control"
      Inventors: Brand, Matthew E.; Nikovski, Daniel N.
      Patent No.: 6,672,431
      Issue Date: Jan 6, 2004
    See All Patents for MERL