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Information-Driven Sensor Path Planning by Approximate Cell Decomposition

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2 Author(s)
Chenghui Cai ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Duke Univ., Durham, NC ; Ferrari, S.

A methodology is developed for planning the sensing strategy of a robotic sensor deployed for the purpose of classifying multiple fixed targets located in an obstacle-populated workspace. Existing path planning techniques are not directly applicable to robots whose primary objective is to gather sensor measurements using a bounded field of view (FOV). This paper develops a novel approximate cell-decomposition method in which obstacles, targets, sensor's platform, and FOV are represented as closed and bounded subsets of an Euclidean workspace. The method constructs a connectivity graph with observation cells that is pruned and transformed into a decision tree from which an optimal sensing strategy can be computed. The effectiveness of the optimal sensing strategies obtained by this methodology is demonstrated through a mine-hunting application. Numerical experiments show that these strategies outperform shortest path, complete coverage, random, and grid search strategies, and are applicable to nonoverpass capable robots that must avoid targets as well as obstacles.

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Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 3 )