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The Home Page of Norm Ferns

I am a research associate with the DisCoVeri Group. In general, I am interested in computer science, mathematics, and computational neuroscience. More specifically, my research interests lie in the study of the approximation of continuous probablistic systems, both in theory and in practice.

E-mail: nferns [at] cse [dot] yorku [dot] ca

Selected Publications

  • Ferns, N., and Precup, D. 2014. Bisimulation Metrics are Optimal Value Functions. In the 30th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (Quebec City, Quebec, Canada July 23 - 27, 2014). AUAI Press, Corvallis, Oregon, 210-219. Acceptance rate 33%. [PDF]

  • Ferns, N., Knight, S., and Precup, D. 2014. Bisimulation for Markov Decision Processes through Families of Functional Expressions. In Horizons of the Mind. A Tribute to Prakash Panangaden: Essays Dedicated to Prakash Panangaden on the Occasion of His 60th Birthday. Springer International Publishing, 2014. p 319-342 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Vol. 8464). [PDF]

  • Ferns, N., Panangaden, P., and Precup, D. 2011. Bisimulation Metrics for Continuous Markov Decision Processes. In SIAM Journal on Computing. Vol. 40, No. 6, 1662-1714. [PDF]

  • Ferns, N., Castro, P., Panangaden, P., and Precup, D. 2006. Methods for Computing State Similarity in Markov Decision Processes. In Proceedings of the 22nd Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial intelligence (Cambridge, MA, USA July 13 - 16, 2006). AUAI Press, Arlington, Virginia, 174-181. Acceptance rate 32%. [PDF]

  • Ferns, N., Panangaden, P., and Precup, D. 2005. Metrics for Markov Decision Processes with Infinite State Spaces. In Proceedings of the 21st Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial intelligence (Edinburgh, Scotland, July 26 - 29, 2005). AUAI Press, Arlington, Virginia, 201-208. Acceptance rate 34%. [PDF]

  • Bouchard-Côté, A., Ferns, N., Panangaden, P., and Precup, D. 2005. An Approximation Algorithm for Labelled Markov Processes: Towards Realistic Approximation. In Proceedings of the Second International Conference on the Quantitative Evaluation of Systems (QEST 05) (September 19 - 22, 2005). QEST. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, 54-62. Acceptance rate 30%. [PDF]

  • Ferns, N., Panangaden, P., and Precup, D. 2004. Metrics for Finite Markov Decision Processes. In Proceedings of the 20th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial intelligence (Banff, Canada, July 07 - 11, 2004). ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, vol. 70. AUAI Press, Arlington, Virginia, 162-169. Acceptance rate 30%. [PDF]