ASPIRe: An Informative Trajectory Planner with Mutual Information Approximation for Target Search and Tracking

This paper proposes an informative trajectory planning approach, namely, adaptive particle filter tree with sigma point-based mutual information reward approximation (ASPIRe), for mobile target search and tracking (SAT) in cluttered environments with limited sensing field of view. We develop a novel sigma point-based approximation to accurately estimate mutual information (MI) for general, non-Gaussian distributions utilizing particle representation of the belief state, while simultaneously maintaining high computational efficiency. Building upon the MI approximation, we develop the Adaptive Particle Filter Tree (APFT) approach with MI as the reward, which features belief state tree nodes for informative trajectory planning in continuous state and measurement spaces. An adaptive criterion is proposed in APFT to adjust the planning horizon based on the expected information gain. Simulations and physical experiments demonstrate that ASPIRe achieves real-time computation and outperforms benchmark methods in terms of both search efficiency and estimation accuracy.
Kangjie Zhou, Pengying Wu, Yao Su, Han Gao, Ji Ma, Hangxin Liu, and Chang Liu
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