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Distributed Data Association in Robotic Networks With Cameras and Limited Communications

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3 Author(s)
Eduardo Montijano ; Inst. de Investig. en Ing. de Aragon, Centro Univ. de la Defensa, Zaragoza, Spain ; Rosario Aragues ; Carlos Sagüés

We address the data association problem of features that are observed by a robotic network. Every robot in the network has limited communication capabilities and can only exchange local matches with its neighbors. We propose a distributed algorithm that takes these local matches and, by their propagation in the network, computes global correspondences. When the algorithm finishes, each robot knows the correspondences between its features and the features of all the other robots, even if they cannot directly communicate. The presence of spurious local correspondences may produce inconsistent global correspondences, which are association paths between features observed by the same robot. The contributions of this study are the propagation of the local matches and the detection and resolution of these inconsistencies. We formally prove that after executing the algorithm, all the robots finish with a data association that is free of inconsistencies. We provide a fully decentralized solution to the problem that is valid for any fixed communication topology and with bounded communications between the robots. Simulations and experimental results with real images show the performance of the method considering different features, matching functions, and robotic applications.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Robotics  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 6 )