Simulation based control, a case study

Andy Ruina & Matt Sheen, Cornell University


  1. Simulations are imperfect. So there is a question about how to use simulations for control. Certainly the better the simulation the easier, so there is a need for better simulators. We are working on that.
  2. But we live in the world we live in. And have the imperfect simulators we have. How to live with that? We have chosen a model problem: the game of QWOP. In this model system, the QWOP game is a model of reality, and our various simulations of the game are models of our models of reality. Kind of meta. How well can we do at controlling QWOP using imperfect models of QWOP? And how do we do that? This seminar is about our successes at this model of modeling. To get the most from this seminar, spend 10 minutes playing QWOP before the seminar. Google QWOP on your phone or computer. In short, it’s not so easy. And our synthetic play is also only so good so far.