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Ankur A. Kulkarni

Associate Professor

Systems and Control Engineering

Indian Institute of Technology Bombay





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I am an Associate Professor at the Systems and Control Engineering group at IIT Bombay.

The larger theme of control is about taking the right decision at the right time. I am interested in all aspects of decision situations involving multiple decision-makers faced with an uncertain and competitive environment. These decision-makers could be as varied as humans, autonomous vehicles or amoeba. We do fundamental research on this topic touching areas such as stochastic control, information theory and game theory. On the applied side we have worked with industries to study complex interacting systems such as financial markets, power systems and smart cities and developed agent-based models and simulation to understand the behavior of such systems and enhance their functions.

My current research interests include

  • stochastic and networked control
  • information theory and communication
  • game theory and multi-agent systems
  • optimization and variational analysis
  • operations research

Students interested in working with me: If you have a mathematical bent of mind, AND/OR, you like agent-based models and approaches, I encourage you to get in touch with me. Please see my projects page for more. Also see my research page to see publications of my students.

Industries interested in working with me:
Agent-based modeling and simulation is a powerful paradigm that can be used to answer a variety of what-if questions about the impact of policy interventions and incentive design
. If you are interested in these or similar questions, please get in touch with me. I am currently pursuing projects along this line and have previously been a consultant for SEBI Please see my projects page for more.

All others: I am always on the lookout for interesting systems problems and conceptually challenging questions. Please feel free to get in touch with me if there is any thing you would like to discuss or any thing I can be of help with.

Recent updates

  1. 18 Jan 2019. My paper "Strategy-proof Spectrum Allocation among Multiple Operators", coauthored with Indu Yadav and Abhay Karandikar, was accepted by the IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, 2019.

  2. 5 Jan 2019. Submitted a paper "Price-Coupling Games and the Generation Expansion Planning Problem" coauthored with Mathew Abraham to the Annals of Operations Research.

  3. 21 Dec 2018. Back from organizing and speaking at a wonderful session on "50 years of the Witsenhausen Counterexample" at the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, 2018 in Miami.

  4. 14 Dec 2018. Submitted a paper "Sizing Storage for Reliable Renewable Integration" coauthored with Vivek Deulkar and Jayakrishnan Nair, and a paper "Addressing the Free-rider Problem in Voluntary Demand Response Programs", coauthored with Anupama Kowli, to PowerTech 2019.

  5. 5 Dec 2018. My paper "A Minimax Theorem for Finite Blocklength Joint Source-Channel Coding over an AVC" coauthored with Ph.D. student Anuj Vora was accepted for the National Conference on Communications, 2019. Congratulations Anuj!

  6. 24 Nov 2018. Submitted a paper "On Independent Cliques and Linear Complementarity Problems", coauthored with Karan Chadha to the Mathematics of Operations Research, 2018 [arXiv].

  7. 18 Nov 2018. Submitted a paper "Shannon meets von Neumann: A Minimax Theorem for Channel Coding in the Presence of a Jammer" coauthored with former student Sharu Theresa Jose to the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory [arXiv].

  8. 16 Sept 2018. My paper "Improved Finite Blocklength Converses for Slepian-Wolf Coding via Linear Programming", coauthored with Sharu Theresa Jose was accepted by the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, 2018.

  9. 14 Sept 2018. My paper "An ADMM-Based Algorithm for Solving DC-OPF in a Large Electricity Network Considering Transmission Losses", coauthored with Ph.D. student Mathew Abraham was accepted by IET Generation, Transmission and Distribution.

  10. 1 Sept 2018. My paper "Near-Optimality of Linear Strategies for Static Teams with `Big' Non-Gaussian Noise" was accepted by the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control.

  11. 31 Aug 2018. I have received the Excellence in Teaching Award for 2018 at IIT Bombay! A maximum of 30 awards are given every year based on the best 8 teaching scores during the preceding 5 years.

  12. 14 Aug 2018. Our multi-university multi-industry project on SMART Planning and Operations of Grids with Renewables and Storage has kicked off! I am one of the main investigators in this project. Lots of positions available. Please get in touch if you are interested.

Education and Experience

Associate Professor, IIT Bombay, Jun 2018 - present

Assistant Professor, IIT Bombay, Jan 2013 - May 2018.

Visitor Department of Automatic Control, School of Electrical Engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, June 7 - 28, 2014.

Postdoctoral researcher, Coordinated Science Laboratory at UIUC, first with Prof P R Kumar and Prof Todd Coleman and then with Prof Negar Kiyavash, 2010-2012.

Instructor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Fall 2010 and Fall 2011.

Ph.D. Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2010.

Visitor at the School of Technology and Computer Science, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India, Summer 2008.

M.S. General Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.

B.Tech. Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, 2006.

Awards and Honors

Associate of the Indian Academy of Sciences.

INSPIRE Faculty Award, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. A competitive award comprising of salary and research grant of Rs 35 lakhs (~USD 70000).

Excellence in Teaching Award for 2018 at IIT Bombay.

Best paper award at the National Conference on Communications, 2017.

Best paper award at the Indian Control Conference, 2018.

Best paper award (runner-up) at the International Conference on Signal Processing and Communications (SPCOM), 2018.

William A. Chittenden Award for an Outstanding Master of Science Graduate in General Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Listed on the "Incomplete List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students in Spring 2007" at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

NSF Travel Grant for the International Conference on Continuous Optimization, Hamilton, Canada, 2007 and IEEE CSS Student Travel Support Award for the Conference on Decision and Control, Shanghai, China, 2009.

Bio

Ankur is an Associate Professor with the Systems and Control Engineering group at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB). He received his B.Tech. in Aerospace Engineering from IITB in 2006, M.S. in 2008 and Ph.D. in 2010, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). From 2010-2012 he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Coordinated Science Laboratory at UIUC. His research interests include the role of information in stochastic control, game theory, information theory, combinatorial coding theory problems, optimization and variational inequalities, and operations research. He is an Associate (from 2015--2018) of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, a recipient of the INSPIRE Faculty Award of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, 2013, Best paper awards at the National Conference on Communications, 2017 and the Indian Control Conference, 2018, and the William A. Chittenden Award, 2008 at UIUC. He is a consultant to the Securities and Exchange Board of India on some matters related to high frequency trading.

Contact

106 Systems and Control Engineering
IIT Bombay
Powai, Mumbai, 400076.
kulkarni.ankur[at]iitb.ac.in
+91-9167889384 (M)
+91-22-25765384 (O)