Dr Dimitri Ognibene

School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (CSEE)
Dr Dimitri Ognibene



Dr Dimitri Ognibene obtained his PhD in Robotics from the University of Genoa in 2009. Before joining the University of Essex, he has been performing experimental studies and developing formal methods for active social perception at UPF, Barcelona, as a Marie Sk?odowska-Curie COFUND Fellow; developing algorithms for active vision in industrial robotic tasks as a Research Associate (RA) at Centre for Robotics Research, Kings College London; devising Bayesian methods and robotic models for attention in social and dynamic environments as a RA at the Personal Robotics Laboratory in Imperial College London; studying interaction between active vision and autonomous learning in neuro-robotic models as a RA at Institute of Cognitive Science and Technologies of the Italian Research Council (ISTC CNR). He also collaborated with Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging (UCL) to address the exploration issue in the currently dominant neurocomputational modelling paradigm. Dr Ognibene has also been Visiting Researcher at Bounded Resource Reasoning Laboratory in UMass and at University of Reykjavik (Iceland) exploring the symmetries between active sensor control and active computation or metareasoning. Dr Ognibene presented his work in several international conferences on artificial intelligence, adaptation, and development and published on international peer-reviewed journals. Dr Ognibene was invited to speak at the International Symposium for Attention in Cognitive Systems (2013 and 2014) as well as in other various neuroscience, robotics and machine-learning international venues. Dr Ognibene is Associate Editor of Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics, and has been part of the Program Committee of several conferences and symposiums. Check myGoogle scholar page For other activities check myhomepage (under update)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Artificial Intelligence (Ognibene & Demiris 2013, Nivel et al 2014)

Cognitive Neuroscience (Ognibene et al 2017, Friston et al 2015, Pezzulo & Ognibene 2013)

Social Media Governance and Behavior Modelling (under preparation)

Probabilistic and Neural Machine Learning Methods (Ognibene Baldassarre 2015, Ognibene and Demiris 2013, Ognibene et al 2013)

Active Vision and Perception (Ognibene & Demiris 2013, Ognibene Baldassarre 2015, Ognibene et al 2010, Ferro, M. 2010, Ognibene et al 2008)

Adaptive Model Based Control (Catenacci Volpi, Wu Ognibene, in press, Nivel et al 2014)

Behaviour Modelling and Prediction (Ognibene & Demiris 2013, Ferro, M. 2010)

Active Intention Recognition and Activity Monitoring (Ognibene & Demiris 2013, Lee et al 2015)

Proactive Social Robotics (Ognibene & Mirante, 2018; Ognibene & Demiris 2013, Ognibene et al 2013, Petit et al 2013)

My research interests entail the principles underlying adaptive social behaviour in complex conditions with particular attention to anticipative skills and exploration in unknonwn environemnts. My research covers both biological and artificial agents as well as physical (visual and multimodal) and virtual environments as social media and virtual reality. I use machine learning methods, both (deep) neural and probabilistic models, to create agents as well as to study and predict their behaviours. Relevant Papers: Where do you believe you are going, human? Toward active intention recognition in unknown environments for joint robot-human search and rescue missions, D Ognibene, L Mirante,Human Aiding Robotics - ROS2018 Workshop Towards event-based MCTS for autonomous cars NC Volpi, Y Wu, D Ognibene STARE: Spatio-Temporal Attention RElocation for Multiple Structured Activities Detection. K Lee, D Ognibene, H Chang, TK Kim, Y Demiris Contextual action recognition and target localization with an active allocation of attention on a humanoid robot D Ognibene, E Chinellato, M Sarabia, Y Demiri Towards active event recognition D Ognibene, Y Demiris The 23rd International Joint Conference of Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI13)

Conferences and presentations

Active Vision and Human Robot Collaboration Tutorial ICIAP 2017


Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Computer Game Programming (CE218)

  • Mobile and Social Application Programming (CE881)


Journal articles (10)

Fiore, VG., Ognibene, D., Adinoff, B. and Gu, X., (2018). A Multilevel Computational Characterization of Endophenotypes in Addiction. eNeuro. 5 (4), ENEURO.0151-18.2018

Giglia, G. and Ognibene, D., (2018). Changing perspective on perception physiology: Can you really see what is happening?. EuroMediterranean Biomedical Journal. 13 (33), 145-149

Ognibene, D. and Giglia, G., (2015). Use of hierarchical Bayesian framework in MTS studies to model different causes and novel possible forms of acquired MTS. Cognitive Neuroscience. 6 (2-3), 144-145

Lee, K., Ognibene, D., Chang, HJ., Kim, T-K. and Demiris, Y., (2015). STARE: Spatio-Temporal Attention Relocation for Multiple Structured Activities Detection. IEEE Transactions on Image Processing. 24 (12), 5916-5927

Friston, K., Rigoli, F., Ognibene, D., Mathys, C., Fitzgerald, T. and Pezzulo, G., (2015). Active inference and epistemic value. Cognitive Neuroscience. 6 (4), 187-214

Ognibene, D. and Baldassare, G., (2015). Ecological Active Vision: Four Bioinspired Principles to Integrate Bottom–Up and Adaptive Top–Down Attention Tested With a Simple Camera-Arm Robot. IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development. 7 (1), 3-25

Petit, M., Lallee, S., Boucher, J-D., Pointeau, G., Cheminade, P., Ognibene, D., Chinellato, E., Pattacini, U., Gori, I., Martinez-Hernandez, U., Barron-Gonzalez, H., Inderbitzin, M., Luvizotto, A., Vouloutsi, V., Demiris, Y., Metta, G. and Dominey, PF., (2013). The Coordinating Role of Language in Real-Time Multimodal Learning of Cooperative Tasks. IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development. 5 (1), 3-17

Ognibene, D., Chinellato, E., Sarabia, M. and Demiris, Y., (2013). Contextual action recognition and target localization with an active allocation of attention on a humanoid robot. Bioinspiration & Biomimetics. 8 (3), 035002-035002

Pezzulo, G. and Ognibene, D., (2012). Proactive Action Preparation: Seeing Action Preparation as a Continuous and Proactive Process. Motor Control. 16 (3), 386-424

Ferro, M., (2010). Reading as active sensing: a computational model of gaze planning during word recognition. Frontiers in Neurorobotics. 4 (JUN), 6-

Book chapters (1)

Ognibene, D., Wu, Y., Lee, K. and Demiris, Y., (2013). Hierarchies for Embodied Action Perception. In: Computational and Robotic Models of the Hierarchical Organization of Behavior. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. 81- 98. 9783642398742

Conferences (15)

Volpi, NC., Wu, Y. and Ognibene, D., (2017). Towards event-based MCTS for autonomous cars

Pezzulo, G., Rodriguez, M., Hernandez, C., Ognibene, D., Schmidhuber, J., Sanz, R., Helgason, HP., Chella, A. and Jonsson, GK., (2014). Autonomous acquisition of natural language

Nivel, E., Thórisson, KR., Steunebrink, BR., Dindo, H., Pezzulo, G., Rodríguez, M., Hernández, C., Ognibene, D., Schmidhuber, J., Sanz, R., Helgason, HP. and Chella, A., (2014). Bounded Seed-AGI

(2013). Time to change: Deciding when to switch action plans during a social interaction

(2013). Learning epistemic actions in model-free memory-free reinforcement learning: Experiments with a neuro-robotic model

(2013). Towards active event recognition

Mavridis, N., Bourlai, T. and Ognibene, D., (2012). The Human-Robot Cloud: Situated collective intelligence on demand

Ognibene, D., Chinellato, E., Sarabia, M. and Demiris, Y., (2012). Towards Contextual Action Recognition and Target Localization with Active Allocation of Attention

Ognibene, D., Volpi, NC. and Pezzulo, G., (2011). Learning to Grasp Information with Your Own Hands

Ognibene, D., Pezzulo, G. and Baldassare, G., (2010). Learning to Look in Different Environments: An Active-Vision Model Which Learns and Readapts Visual Routines

Ognibene, D., Pezzulo, G. and Baldassarre, G., (2010). How can bottom-up information shape learning of top-down attention-control skills?

Ognibene, D., Balkenius, C. and Baldassarre, G., (2008). Integrating Epistemic Action (Active Vision) and Pragmatic Action (Reaching): A Neural Architecture for Camera-Arm Robots

Herbort, O., Ognibene, D., Butz, MV. and Baldassarre, G., (2007). Learning to select targets within targets in reaching tasks

Ognibene, D., Rega, A. and Baldassarre, G., (2006). A Model of Reaching that Integrates Reinforcement Learning and Population Encoding of Postures

(2005). Fuzzy-based schema mechanisms in AKIRA

Reports and Papers (1)

Ognibene, D., Fiore, VG. and Gu, X., (2017). Addiction beyond pharmacological effects: the role of environment complexity and bounded rationality

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