Zhen Ni

Zhen Ni

Associate Professor

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

777 Glades Road, EE 436

Boca Raton, FL 33431-0991

p: 561.297.0035



Research Interests

  • Computational/Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Reinforcement Learning and Adaptive Dynamic Programming
  • Microgrid Energy Management Systems, Smart Home & Community
  • Robot Navigation, Assistance and Interaction with Human

Current Sponsored Research

  • PI: NSF - CAREER: Toward Artificial General Intelligence for Complex Adaptive Systems: A Natural Concurrent “Learning-in-Learning” Control Paradigm, 2021 – 2026
  • PI: NSF - Collaborative Research: CyberTraining: Multi-disciplinary Training of Learning, Optimization and Communications for Next Generation Power Engineers, 2019 – 2023
  • CoPI: NAVSEA NEEC - Advancing Self-Localization and Intelligent Mapping (SLIM) for Swarm of Autonomous Unmanned Underwater Vehicles using Machine Learning, 2020 – 2023
  • PI: NSF - A Reflective Learning and Association Control Framework based on Adaptive Dynamic Programming: Architecture and Applications in Robotics, 2018 – 2020

Awards and Recognition

  • NSF Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award, 2021
  • Best Paper Award, IEEE Power and Energy General Meeting (PESGM), 2021
  • ORAU Ralph E Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, 2020
  • IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (CIS) Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation Award, 2020
  • International Neural Networks Society (INNS) Aharon Katzir Young Investigator Award, 2019

Refereed Journal Articles

  • S. Paul, Z. Ni and C. Mu, "A Learning Based Solution for an Adversarial Repeated Game in Cyber-Physical Power Systems," IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems (TNNLS), Volume: 31, Issue: 11, pp. 4512 - 4523, November 2020.
  • C. Mu, K. Wang, Z. Ni and C. Sun, "Cooperative Differential Game-Based Optimal Control and Its Application to Power Systems," IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics (TII). Vol. 16, Issue 8, pp. 5169 - 5179, August 2020.
  • A. Das, and Z. Ni, "A Novel Fitted Rolling Horizon Control Approach for Real-Time Policy Making in Microgrid," IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid (TSG), Vol. 11, Issue 4, pp. 3535 - 3544, July 2020. (Best Journal Paper Award in College of Engineering & Computer Science at FAU)
  • Z. Wan, C. Jiang, M. Fahad, Z. Ni, Y. Guo and H. He, "Robot-Assisted Pedestrian Regulation Based on Deep Reinforcement Learning," IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics (TCYB). Vol. 50, Issue 4, pp. 1669-1682, April 2020. 
  • P. Paudyal, P. Munankarmi, Z. Ni and T. Hansen, "A Hierarchical Control Framework with a Novel Bidding Scheme for Residential Community Energy Optimization," IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid (TSG). Vol. 11, Issue 1, pages 710 - 719, January 2020.
  • Z. Ni, N. Malla and X. Zhong, "Prioritizing Useful Experience Replay for Heuristic Dynamic Programming-Based Learning Systems," IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics (TCYB), Vol. 49, Issue 11, pp. 3911 - 3922, November 2019.
  • Z. Ni and S. Paul, "A Multi-Stage Game in Smart Grid Security: A Reinforcement Learning Solution," IEEE Trans. on Neural Networks and Learning Systems (TNNLS). Volume: 30, Issue: 9, pp.2684 - 2695, September 2019. (featured on Research Frontier of IEEE CIS Newsletter, Issue 82, November 2019)
  • C. Jiang, Z. Ni, Y. Guo and H. He, "Pedestrian Flow Optimization to Reduce the Risk of Crowd Disasters through Human-Robot Interaction," IEEE Trans. on Emerging Topics in Computational Intelligence (TETCI), Vol. 4, Issue 3, pp. 298 - 311, August 2019. (Open Access Selected Paper for 4th Quarter of 2020)
  • J. Chao, Z. Ni, Y. Guo and H. He, "Learning Human-Robot Interaction for Robot-Assisted Pedestrian Flow Optimization," IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (SMC): Systems, Volume: 49, Issue: 4, pp. 797 - 813, April 2019.
  • Z. Ni and A. Das, "A New Incentive-based Optimization Scheme for Residential Community with Financial Trade-offs," IEEE Access. Vol. 6, issue 1, pp. 57802 - 57813, December 2018.

Professional Editorships

  • Associate Editor, IEEE Internet of Things Journal (IF: 9.515), 2021 -
  • Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Neural Network and Learning Systems (IF: 10.451), 2019 -
  • Associate Editor, IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine (IF: 11.356), 2018 -
  • Guest Editor, IET Cyber-Physical Systems: Theory & Applications. Special Issue on: Cyber Physical Power Systems: Advanced Intelligent Technologies and Applications, 2017-2018

Conference Organization Committee

  • Symposium Chair, IEEE Symposium on Adaptive Dynamic Programming and Reinforcement Learning (ADPRL), Orlando, FL, USA, 2021
  • Symposium Chair, IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence and Data Mining (CIDM), Orlando, FL, USA, 2021
  • Program Co-Chair, The 2019 IEEE International Electro/Information Technology (EIT) Conference, Brookings, SD, 2019
  • General Co-Chair, IEEE Computational Intelligence Society Winter School, Washington D.C., 2016

Professional Technical Committee

  • Chair, IEEE CIS Data Mining and Big Data Analytics Technical Committee, 2021-
  • Chair, Task Force of Intelligent Systems for Cybersecurity of IoT, IEEE CIS ISATC, 2019-
  • Vice Chair, Data Mining and Big Data Analytics Technical Committee, IEEE CIS, 2019 – 2020
  • Vice Chair, Task Force of ADP and RL in Power and Energy Internets, IEEE, CIS ADPRL TC, 2016-

Personal Site

Dr Zhen Ni