Dr Ing. Gianluca Valentino, a lecturer with the Department of Communications and Computer Engineering, has been appointed as a Guest Editor for a special issue of the MDPI Information journal belonging to the Artificial Intelligence section, entitled "Machine Learning and Accelerator Technology". The deadline for manuscript submissions is 31st October 2020.
Machine learning is currently a hot topic of research in the accelerator physics community, and in recent years there has been a growing interest in major laboratories around the world, from SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center) to BNL (Bookhaven National Laboratory), DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron), PSI (Paul Scherrer Institut) and CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research).
The system dynamics of large machines such as particle accelerators tend to involve large parameter spaces which evolve over multiple time scales, and the interrelations between accelerator subsystems may be complex and nonlinear. Machine learning is becoming an increasingly valuable tool to meet new demands for beam energy, brightness, reliability and stability. These techniques can be used to analyse vast amounts of archived data to accurately model accelerator systems, detect anomalous machine behaviour, and perform active tuning and control.
Dr Ing. Valentino was one of the pioneers for the use of machine learning at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Through his role as Visiting Scientist is collaborating with a number of CERN physicists and engineers to investigate anomaly detection techniques, use classification techniques to process real time beam instrumentation signals and apply reinforcement learning to automatically tune various machines in the LHC injector chain. A number of University of Malta MSc and PhD students have also had the opportunity to undertake their doctoral research in this area under his supervision.
Dr Ing. Valentino is also a founding member of the Particle Detector and Accelerator Platform, as well as the Data Science Research Platform at the University of Malta.