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The probabilistic data association filter

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3 Author(s)
Yaakov Bar-Shalom ; Princeton University ; Fred Daum ; Jim Huang

The measurement selection for updating the state estimate of a target's track, known as data association, is essential for good performance in the presence of spurious measurements or clutter. A classification of tracking and data association approaches has been presented, as a pure MMSE approach, which amounts to a soft decision, and single best-hypothesis approach, which amounts to a hard decision. It has been shown that the optimal state estimator in the presence of data association uncertainty consists of the computation of the conditional pdf of the state x(k) given all information available at time k, namely, the prior information about the initial state, the intervening known inputs, and the sets of measurements through time k. It has also been pointed out that if the exact conditional pdf, which is a mixture, is available, then its recursion requires only the probabilities of the most recent association events. The conditions under which this result holds, namely whiteness of the noise, detection, and clutter processes, were presented. The PDAF and JPDAF algorithms, which carry out data association and state estimation in clutter, have been described. A simple example was given to illustrate how the clutter and occasional missed detections can lead to track loss for a standard tracking filter, and how PDAF can keep the target in track under such circumstances. By using the Monte Carlo in a simulated based surveillance as an exampled shown. The numerous applications of the PDAF/JPDAF illustrated in "Real-World Applications of PDAF and JPDAF" show the potential pitfalls of using sophisticated algorithms for tracking in difficult environments as well as how to overcome them. The effect of finite sensor resolution can be a more severe problem than the data association and deserves special attention.

Published in:

IEEE Control Systems  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 6 )