Prof. Stefan B. Williams

I am a Professor of Marine Robotics at the University of Sydney’Australian Centre for Field Robotics. I lead the Marine Systems group within the ACFR and am the head of Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Facility.

My research interests focus on aspects of navigation, mapping, planning and control as applied to autonomous marine systems and the interpretation of the data collected by these systems. I have always had a strong focus on fielding real systems in support of scientific applications.

Publications

Scholarly book

  1. S.B. Williams. Efficient Solutions to Autonomous Mapping and Navigation Problems, VDM, Germany, 2009.

Scholarly book chapters

  1. M. Bryson, M. Johnson-Roberson, O. Pizarro and B. Williams, ‘Colour-Consistent Structure-from-Motion Models using Underwater Imagery’, Robotics: Science and Systems Conference VIII, pages 33-41, 2013
  2. R.J. Beaman, T. Bridge, T. Done, J.M. Webster, S.B. Williams and O. Pizarro, ‘Habitats and Benthos at Hydrographers Passage, Great Barrier Reef, Australia’, Seafloor Geomorphology As Benthic Habitat: GeoHAB Atlas of Seafloor, Eds P. Harris and E. Baker, pages 425–434, 2012
  3. S.B. Williams, O. Pizarro, M. Jakuba and N. Barrett. AUV benthic habitat mapping in South Eastern Tasmania. In A. Howard, K. Iagnemma and A. Field and Service Robotics, Results of the 7th International Conference, Volume 62/2010, 275-284, 2010
  4. S.B. Williams, O. Pizarro, I. Mahon and M. Johnson-Roberson. Simultaneous localisation and mapping and dense stereoscopic seafloor reconstruction using an AUV. In G. Pappas, V. Kumar and O. Khatib (eds), Experimental Robotics XI: The Eleventh International Symposium, 54: 407–416, Springer, Berlin, 2009.
  5. J. Webster, R. Beaman, T. Bridge, P. Davies, M. Byrne, S.B. Williams, P. Manning, O. Pizarro, K. Thornborough, E. Woolsey, A.A. Thomas and S. Tudhope. From corals to canyons: The Great Barrier Reef margin. EOS, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 89(24):217–218, June 2008.
  6. A. Brooks, T. Kaupp, A. Makarenko, S.B. Williams and A. Oreback. Orca: A component model and repository. In D. Brugali (ed.), Software Engineering for Experimental Robotics, pp.231–251, Springer, Berlin, 2007.
  7. A. Brooks, A. Makarenko, T. Kaupp, S. Williams and H. Durrant-Whyte. ‘Implementation of an indoor active sensor network’. In M. Ang and O. Khatib (eds), Experimental Robotics IX: The ninth International Symposium on Experiental Robotics, 21:397-406, Springer, Berlin, 2006.
  8. S.B. Williams and I. Mahon. Terrain aided localisation and mapping for marine environments. In M. Ang and O. Khatib (eds), Experimental Robotics IX: The ninth International Symposium on Experimental Robotics, 21:111–120, Springer, Berlin, 2006.

Refereed Journal Articles

  1. B Douillard, N Nourani-Vatani, M Johnson-Roberson, O Pizarro, S Williams, C Roman, I Vaughn, ‘Frequency-based underwater terrain segmentation’, Autonomous Robots, 35(4):255-269, 2013
  2. A.Madanayake, C. Wijenayake, D.G. Dansereau, T.K. Gunaratne, L.T. Bruton, and S.B. Williams, ‘Multidimensional (MD) circuits and systems for emerging applications including cognitive radio, radio astronomy, robot vision and imaging,’ Circuits and Systems Magazine, IEEE , vol.13, no.1, pp.10-43
  3. A.Friedman, O. Pizarro, S.B. Williams and M. Johnson-Roberson, ‘Multi-scale measures of rugosity, slope and aspect from benthic stereo image reconstructions’, PloS One,7(12): e50440
  4. D.A. Smale, G.A. Kendrick, E.S. Harvey, T.J. Langlois, R.K. Hovey, K.P. Van Niel, K.I. Waddington, L.M. Bellchambers, M.B. Pember, R.C. Babcock, M.A. Vanderklift, D.P. Thomson, M.V. Jakuba, O. Pizarro and S.B. Williams. ‘Regional-scale benthic monitoring for Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management (EBFM) using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV)’, ICES Journal of Marine Science, 69(6): 1108-1118, 2012
  5. S.Barkby, S.B. Williams, O. Pizarro and M. Jakuba, ‘Bathymetric Particle Filter SLAM Using Trajectory Maps’, International Journal of Robotics Research, 31(12): 1409–1430, 2012
  6. S.B. Williams, O.R. Pizarro, M.V. Jakuba, C.R. Johnson, N.S. Barrett, R.C. Babcock, G.A. Kendrick, P.D. Steinberg, A.J. Heyward, P.J. Doherty, I. Mahon, M. Johnson-Roberson, D. Steinberg, A. Friedman, ‘Monitoring of Benthic Reference Sites: Using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle’, IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, 19(1): 73-84, 2012
  7. C.N. Roman, G. Inglis, J.I. Vaughn, S.B. Williams, O. Pizarro, A. Friedman, and D. Steinberg, ‘Development of High-Resolution Underwater Mapping Techniques’, Oceanography, 24(1), pages 14-17, 2011
  8. T.C.L. Bridge, T.J. Done, A. Friedman, R.J. Beaman, S.B. Williams, O. Pizarro and J.M. Webster, ‘Variability in mesophotic coral reef communities along the Great Barrier Reef, Australia’, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 428, pages 63-75, 2011
  9. S. Barkby, S.B. Williams, O. Pizarro and M. Jakuba, ‘A Featureless Approach to Efficient Bathymetric SLAM using Distributed Particle Mapping’, Journal of Field Robotics, 28(1):19-39, 2011
  10. T. Bridge, T. Done, R. Beaman, A. Friedman, S.B. Williams, O. Pizarro and J. Webster, ‘Topography, substratum and benthic macrofaunal relationships on a tropical mesophotic shelf margin, Great Barrier Reef, Australia’, Coral Reefs, 30: 143-153, 2011
  11. P. Rigby, S.B. Williams and O. Pizarro, ‘Towards Adaptive Benthic Habitat Mapping using Gaussian Process Classification’, Journal of Field Robotics, 27(6), pages 741-758, 2010
  12. S.B. Williams, O. Pizarro, J. Webster, R. Beaman, I. Mahon, M. Johnson-Roberson and T. Bridge, ‘AUV-assisted surveying of drowned reefs on the shelf edge of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia’, Journal of Field Robotics, vol. 27(5), 2010, pp. 675-697 (DP0879728)
  13. D. Steinberg, A. Bender, A. Friedman, M. Jakuba, O. Pizarro and S.B. Williams. Analysis of propulsion methods for long range AUVs. Martine Technology Society Journal, 44(2):46-55, 2010
  14. M. Johnson-Roberson, O. Pizarro and S.B. Williams. Generation and visualization of large scale 3D reconstructions from underwater robotic surveys. Journal of Field Robotics, 27(1):21–51, January/February 2010. (DP0879728)
  15. I. Mahon, S.B. Williams, O. Pizarro and M. Johnson-Roberson. Efficient view-based SLAM using visual loop closures. IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 24(5):1002–1014, October, 2008. (DP0879728)
  16. A. Brooks, A. Makarenko, S.B. Williams and H.F. Durrant-Whyte. Parametric POMDPs for planning in continuous state spaces. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 54(11):887–897, November 2006.

Refereed full conference papers

  1. D. Steinberg, O. Pizarro and B. Williams, ‘Synergistic Clustering of Image and Segment Descriptors for Unsupervised Scene Understanding’, The IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2013, pp. 3463-3470
  2. M. Bryson, M. Johnson-Roberson, O. Pizarro and B. Williams, ‘Automated Reigstration for Multi-Year Robotic Surveys of Marine Benthic Habitats’, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Nov., 2013, 6 pp.
  3. M. Johnson-Roberson, M. Bryson, B. Douillard, O. Pizarro, S.B. Williams, ‘Out-of-Core Efficient Blending of Underwater Georeferenced Textured 3D Maps’, Computing for Geospatial Research and Application (COM. Geo), 2013 Fourth International Conference on, pages 8-15, 2013
  4. A. Bender, S.B. Williams and O. Pizarro, ‘Autonomous exploration of large-scale benthic environments’. Proceedings of the IEEE 2011 International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pages 390-396, 2013
  5. D.G. Dansereau, O. Pizarro, B. Williams, ‘Decoding, Calibration and Rectification for Lenselet-Based Plenoptic Cameras’, in Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), IEEE, pages 1027-1034, 2013
  6. M.S. Bewley, B. Douillard, N. Nourani-Vatani, A. Friedman, O. Pizarro, S.B. Williams, ‘Automated species detection: An experimental approach to kelp detection from seafloor AUV images’, Proceedings of the Australasian Conference on Robotics and Automation, 10 pp., 2012
  7. M. Warren, P. Corke, O. Pizarro, S.B. Williams, B. Upcroft ‘Visual sea-floor mapping from low overlap imagery using bi-objective bundle adjustment and constrained motion’, Proceedings of the Australasian Conference on Robotics and Automation, 10 pp., 2012
  8. A. Bender, S.B. Williams and O. Pizarro, ‘Classification with Probabilistic Targets’. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pages 1780-1786, 2012
  9. M. Bryson, M. Johnson-Roberson, O. Pizarro and B. Williams, ‘Colour-Consistent Structure-from-Motion Models using Underwater Imagery’, Proceedings of the 2012 Robotics: Science and Systems Conference, Jul., 2012, 8 pp.
  10. B. Douillard, N. Nourani-Vatani, M. Johnson-Roberson, S.B. Williams, C. Roman, O. Pizarro, I. Vaughn, and G. Inglis, ‘FFT-based terrain segmentation for underwater mapping’, Proceedings of the 2012 Robotics: Science and Systems Conference, Jul., 2012, 8pp.
  11. S. Barkby, S.B. Williams, O. Pizarro, and M.V. Jakuba, ‘Bathymetric SLAM with no map overlap using Gaussian Processes’, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pages 1242 – 1248, 2011
  12. D.G. Dansereau, I. Mahon, O. Pizarro, and B. Williams, ‘Plenoptic Flow: Closed-Form Visual Odometry for Light Field Cameras’, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pages 4455-4462, 2011
  13. A. Friedman, D. Steinberg, O. Pizarro, and S.B. Williams, ‘Active learning using a Variational Dirichlet Process model for pre-clustering and classification of underwater stereo imagery’, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pages 1533 – 1539, 2011
  14. M.V. Jakuba, D. Steinberg, J.C. Kinsey, D.R. Yoerger, R. Camilli, O. Pizarro, and Williams, S.B., ‘Toward automatic classification of chemical sensor data from autonomous underwater vehicles’, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pages 4722-4727, 2011
  15. D.G. Dansereau and S.B. Williams, ‘Seabed Modeling and Distractor Extraction for Mobile AUVs Using Light Field Filtering’, Proceedings of the IEEE 2011 International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pages 1634–1639, Shanghai, China, May 2011
  16. L. Medagoda, S.B. Williams, O. Pizarro and M.V. Jakuba, ‘Water Column Current Profile Aided Localisation combined with View-based SLAM for Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Navigation’, Proceedings of the IEEE 2009 International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pages 3048–3055, Shanghai, China, May 2011
  17. I. Mahon, O. Pizarro, M. Johnson-Roberson, A. Friedman, S.B. Williams and J.C. Henderson ‘Reconstructing Pavlopetri: Mapping the World’s Oldest Submerged Town using Stereo-vision’, Proceedings of the IEEE 2009 International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pages 2315–2321, Shanghai, China, May 2011
  18. M. Johnson-Roberson, O. Pizarro and S.B. Williams, ‘Saliency Ranking for Benthic Survey using Underwater Images’, International Conference on Control, Automation, Robotics and Vision (ICARCV 2010), pages 459–466, (DP1093448)
  19. D. Steinberg, S.B. Williams, O. Pizarro and M. Jakuba, ‘Towards autonomous habitat classification using Gaussian Mixture Models’, Proceedings of IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pages 4424-4431, 2010
  20. S.B. Williams, O. Pizarro, M. Jakuba, I.J. Mahon, S.D. Ling, and C.R. Johnson, ‘Repeated AUV Surveying of Urchin Barrens in North Eastern Tasmania’, In Proc. 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 293-299
  21. D. Rao and S.B. Williams Large-scale path planning for underwater gliders in ocean currents. Proceedings of the 2009 Australasian Conference on Robotics and Automation, 8 pp., Sydney, Australia, December 2009.
  22. S. Barkby, S.A., Williams, S.B., Pizarro, O. and Jakuba, M. An efficient approach to bathymetric SLAM. Proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pp. 2525–2530, St Louis, USA, October 2009
  23. S.B. Williams, O. Pizarro, M. Jakuba and N. Barrett. AUV benthic habitat mapping in south eastern Tasmania. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Field and Service Robotics, 10 pp., Cambridge, USA, July 2009.
  24. S.B. Williams, O. Pizarro, M. How, D. Mercer, G. Powell, J. Marshall and R. Hanlon. Surveying nocturnal cuttlefish camouflage behaviour using an AUV. Proceedings of the IEEE 2009 International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 214–219, Kobe, Japan, May 2009.
  25. P. Rigby and S.B. Williams. Adaptive sensing for localisation of an autonomous underwater vehicle’, Proceedings of the 2005 Australasian Conference on Robotics and Automation, 7 pp., Sydney, Australia, December 2005.
  26. S.B. Williams and I. Mahon, ‘Design of an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle for Reef Surveying’, 3rd IFAC Symposium on Mechatronic Systems, Manly, NSW, Australia, Sept 6-8, 2004
  27. B. Williams and I.Mahon, ‘Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping on the Great Barrier Reef’, Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Vol. 2, pages 1771 – 1776, 2004
  28. A. Brooks, S.B. Williams and A. Makarenko, ‘Automatic Online Localization of Nodes in an Active Sensor Network’, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Vol. 5, pages 4821 – 4826, 2004
  29. A. Makarenko, A. Brooks, S.B. Williams, H.F. Durrant-Whyte and B. Grocholsky, ‘An Architecture for Decentralized Active Sensor Networks’, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Vol. 2, pages 1097 – 1102, 2004

Other

Full conference papers, extended abstract review

  1. D.L. Bongiorno, M. Bryson, B. Williams, and O. Pizarro, “Dynamic spectral-based underwater colour correction,” in Oceans 2013, Bergen, Norway. (winner: best student poster competition)
  2. D.G. Dansereau, D. L. Bongiorno, O. Pizarro, and S. B. Williams, “Light field image denoising using a linear 4D frequency-hyperfan all-in-focus filter,” in Proceedings SPIE Computational Imaging XI, Feb. 2013, p. 86570P
  3. D.L. Bongiorno, M. Bryson, D. G. Dansereau, S. B. Williams, and O. Pizarro, “Spectral characterization of COTS RGB cameras using a linear variable edge filter,” in Proceedings SPIE Digital Photography IX, Feb. 2013, p. 86600N.
  4. D. Steinberg, O. Pizarro, S.B. Williams and M.V. Jakuba. Dirichlet process mixture models for autonomous habitat classification. Oceans 2010, Sydney, Australia (DP1093448, DP0879728)
  5. A. Friedman, O. Pizarro and S.B. Williams. Rugosity, slope and aspect from bathymetric Stereo image reconstructions. Oceans 2010, Sydney, Australia (DP0879728) (winner: best student poster competition)
  6. L. Medagoda, M.V. Jakuba, O. Pizarro and S.B. Williams. Water column current profile aided localisation for autonomous underwater vehicles. Oceans 2010, Sydney
  7. M. Jakuba, O. Pizarro and S.B. Williams. High resolution, consistent navigation and 3D optical reconstructions from AUVs using magnetic compasses and pressure-based depth sensors. Oceans 2010, Sydney, Australia
  8. N. Barrett, J. Seiler, T. Anderson, S.B. Williams, S. Nichol and N. Hill. Using an autonomous underwater vehicle to inform management of biodiversity in shelf waters. Oceans 2010, Sydney, Australia
  9. A. Barkby, S.B. Williams, O. Pizarro and M. Jakuba. Incorporating prior bathymetric maps with distributed particle bathymetric SLAM for improved AUV navigation and mapping. Proceedings of OCEANS 2009 MTS/IEE Biloxi Conference and Exhibition, 7 pp., Biloxi, USA, October, 2009.
  10. M. Johnson-Roberson, O.R. Pizarro and S.B. Williams. Towards large scale optical and acoustic sensor integration for visualization. Proceedings of Oceans 2009 IEEE Bremen, 4 pp., Bremen, Germany, May 2009.
  11. O.R. Pizarro, S.B. Williams and J. Colquhoun. Topic-based habitat classification using visual data., Proceedings of Oceans 2009 IEEE Bremen, 8 pp., Bremen, Germany, May 2009.
  12. B. Williams, O. Pizarro, J. Webster, R. Beaman, M. Johnson-Roberson, I. Mahon and T. Bridge. AUV-assisted surveying of relic reef sites. Proceedings of MTS/IEEE Oceans Quebec, 7 pp., Quebec, Canada, September 2008.
  13. O. Pizarro, J. Colquhoun, P. Rigby, M. Johnson-Roberson and S.B. Williams. Towards imagebased marine habitat classification. Proceedings of MTS/IEEE Oceans Quebec, 7 pp., Quebec, Canada, September 2008.
  14. B. Williams, O. Pizarro, I. Mahon and M. Johnson-Roberson. Simultaneous localisation and mapping and dense stereoscopic seafloor reconstruction using an AUV. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Experimental Robotics, 14 pp., Athens, Greece 2008
  15. Brooks and S.B. Williams. A Monte Carlo update for parametric POMDPs. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Robotics Research, pp. 265–275, Hiroshima, Japan, 2007.
  16. P. Rigby, O. Pizarro, S.B. Williams and J. Colquhoun, ‘Effective benthic surveying with autonomous underwater vehicles. Proceedings of the MTS/IEEE Oceans Conference, 6 pp., Vancouver, Canada, September–October 2007.
  17. M. Johnson-Roberson, S. Kumar, O. Pizarro and S.B. Williams. Stereoscopic imaging for coral segmentation and classification. Proceedings of the MTS/IEEE Oceans Conference, 6 pp., Boston, USA, September 2006.
  18. P. Rigby, O. Pizarro and S.B. Williams. Towards geo-referenced AUV navigation through fusion of USBL and DVL measurements. Proceedings of the MTS/IEEE Oceans Conference, 6 pp., Boston, USA, September 2006.
  19. M. Johnson-Roberson, S. Kumar and S.B. Williams. Segmentation and classification of coral for oceanographic surveys: A semi-supervised machine learning approach. Proceedings of 2006 Oceans IEEE Asia Pacific, Singapore, May 2006.
  20. A. Bachmann and B. Williams, ‘Outlier Handling While Using Particle Filters In Terrain-Aided Navigation’, Proceedings of the 5th IFAC Symposium on Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles, Lisbon, Portugal, July 5-7, 2004

Poster/presentation, extended abstract review

  1. O. Pizarro, S.B. Williams, J. Colqhoun and C. Moore. Image-based habitat classification and analysis using generative models. Geohab 2010, Wellington, New Zealand, May 2010.
  2. A. Friedman, O. Pizarro and S.B. Williams. Towards automated classification of benthnic environments using rugosity, slope and aspect from bathymetric stereo image Reconstructions. Geohab 2010, Wellington, New Zealand, May 2010.
  3. J. Colquhoun, O. Pizarro, A. Heyward, M. Rees, S.B. Williams, R. O’Leary and B. Radford. Habitat-based assessment of epibenthos using AUV optical imagery, northwest Australia. Geohab 2010, Wellington, New Zealand, May 2010.
  4. O. Pizarro, J. Colquhoun, C. Moore, B. Radford, S.B. Williams, M. Jakuba and A. Heyward. Automated benthic habitat classification from optical imagery. Ocean Sciences 2010, Portland, USA, February 2010.
  5. R. Camilli, D. Yoerger, M. Jakuba, O. Pizarro, S.B. Williams and D. Valentine. Extending autonomy for exploration, discovery, and characterization of deep sea extreme environments. Ocean Sciences 2010, Portland, USA, February 2010.
  6. M. Jakuba, S.B. Williams, M. Johnson-Roberson, O. Pizarro, V Lucieer, I. Mahon and N. Barrett. Co-registered multibeam acoustic and photographic mapping of benthic environments with an AUV. Australian Marine Science Association Conference, Adelaide, Australia, July 2009.
  7. M. Johnson-Roberson, O. Pizarro and S.B. Williams. Towards large scale, integrated optical and acoustic AUV survey. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Underwater Acoustic Measurements: Technologies and Results, Nafplion, Greece, June 2009.
  8. T. Bridge, P. Bongaerts, N. Englebert, E. Sampayo, T. Ridgway, M. Rodriguez-Lanetty, S.B. Williams, O. Pizarro, J. Webster, J. and O. Hoegh-Guldberg. Scleractinian dorals and their associated symbiodinium on mesophotic coral ecosystems of the Great Barrier Reef. Poster at International Coral Reef Symposium, Florida, USA, July 2008.
  9. S.B. Willams, O. Pizarro, I. Mahon, M. Johnson-Roberson and P. Rigby. The IMOS AUV Facility. Australian Marine Science Association Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand, July 2008.
  10. S.B. Willams, O. Pizarro, I. Mahon, M. Johnson-Roberson, P. Rigby and S. Barkby. Advances in autonomous benthic surveying and characterization of benthic habitats. Ocean Sciences 2008, Orlando, USA, March 2008.