Robotics: Science and Systems XV

Asymptotically Optimal Planning for Non-Myopic Multi-Robot Information Gathering

Yiannis Kantaros, Brent Schlotfeldt, Nikolay Atanasov, George J. Pappas


This paper proposes a novel highly scalable sampling-based planning algorithm for multi-robot active information acquisition tasks in complex environments. Active information gathering scenarios include target localization and tracking, active SLAM, surveillance, environmental monitoring and others. The objective is to compute control policies for sensing robots which minimize the accumulated uncertainty of a dynamic hidden state over an a priori unknown horizon. To address this problem, we propose a new sampling-based algorithm that simultaneously explores both the robot motion space and the reachable information space. Unlike relevant sampling-based approaches, we show that the proposed algorithm is probabilistically complete, asymptotically optimal and is supported by convergence rate bounds. Moreover, we demonstrate that by introducing bias in the sampling process towards informative areas, the proposed method can quickly compute sensor policies that achieve desired levels of uncertainty in large-scale estimation tasks that may involve large sensor teams, workspaces, and dimensions of the hidden state. We provide extensive simulation results that corroborate the theoretical analysis and show that the proposed algorithm can address large-scale estimation tasks which were previously infeasible.



    AUTHOR    = {Yiannis Kantaros AND Brent Schlotfeldt AND Nikolay Atanasov AND George J. Pappas}, 
    TITLE     = {Asymptotically Optimal Planning for Non-Myopic Multi-Robot Information Gathering}, 
    BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems}, 
    YEAR      = {2019}, 
    ADDRESS   = {FreiburgimBreisgau, Germany}, 
    MONTH     = {June}, 
    DOI       = {10.15607/RSS.2019.XV.062}