Dellaert, Frank

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 13
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    Planning in the Continuous Domain: a Generalized Belief Space Approach for Autonomous Navigation in Unknown Environments
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2015) Indelman, Vadim ; Carlone, Luca ; Dellaert, Frank
    We investigate the problem of planning under uncertainty, with application to mobile robotics. We propose a probabilistic framework in which the robot bases its decisions on the generalized belief, which is a probabilistic description of its own state and of external variables of interest. The approach naturally leads to a dual-layer architecture: an inner estimation layer, which performs inference to predict the outcome of possible decisions, and an outer decisional layer which is in charge of deciding the best action to undertake. Decision making is entrusted to a Model Predictive Control (MPC) scheme. The formulation is valid for general cost functions and does not discretize the state or control space, enabling planning in continuous domain. Moreover, it allows to relax the assumption of maximum likelihood observations: predicted measurements are treated as random variables, and binary random variables are used to model the event that a measurement is actually taken by the robot. We successfully apply our approach to the problem of uncertainty-constrained exploration, in which the robot has to perform tasks in an unknown environment, while maintaining localization uncertainty within given bounds. We present an extensive numerical analysis of the proposed approach and compare it against related work. In practice, our planning approach produces smooth and natural trajectories and is able to impose soft upper bounds on the uncertainty. Finally, we exploit the results of this analysis to identify current limitations and show that the proposed framework can accommodate several desirable extensions.
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    Incremental Light Bundle Adjustment for Structure From Motion and Robotics
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2015) Indelman, Vadim ; Roberts, Richard ; Dellaert, Frank
    Bundle adjustment (BA) is essential in many robotics and structure-from-motion applications. In robotics, often a bundle adjustment solution is desired to be available incrementally as new poses and 3D points are observed. Similarly in batch structure from motion, cameras are typically added incrementally to allow good initializations. Current incremental BA methods quickly become computationally expensive as more camera poses and 3D points are added into the optimization. In this paper we introduce incremental light bundle adjustment (iLBA), an efficient optimization framework that substantially reduces computational complexity compared to incremental bundle adjustment. First, the number of variables in the optimization is reduced by algebraic elimination of observed 3D points, leading to a structureless BA. The resulting cost function is formulated in terms of three-view constraints instead of re-projection errors and only the camera poses are optimized. Second, the optimization problem is represented using graphical models and incremental inference is applied, updating the solution using adaptive partial calculations each time a new camera is incorporated into the optimization. Typically, only a small fraction of the camera poses are recalculated in each optimization step. The 3D points, although not explicitly optimized, can be reconstructed based on the optimized camera poses at any time. We study probabilistic and computational aspects of iLBA and compare its accuracy against incremental BA and another recent structureless method using real-imagery and synthetic datasets. Results indicate iLBA is 2-10 times faster than incremental BA, depending on number of image observations per frame.
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    Concurrent Filtering and Smoothing: A Parallel Architecture for Real-Time Navigation and Full Smoothing
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2014) Williams, Stephen ; Indelman, Vadim ; Kaess, Michael ; Roberts, Richard ; Leonard, John J. ; Dellaert, Frank
    We present a parallelized navigation architecture that is capable of running in real-time and incorporating long-term loop closure constraints while producing the optimal Bayesian solution. This architecture splits the inference problem into a low-latency update that incorporates new measurements using just the most recent states (filter), and a high-latency update that is capable of closing long loops and smooths using all past states (smoother). This architecture employs the probabilistic graphical models of Factor Graphs, which allows the low-latency inference and high-latency inference to be viewed as sub-operations of a single optimization performed within a single graphical model. A specific factorization of the full joint density is employed that allows the different inference operations to be performed asynchronously while still recovering the optimal solution produced by a full batch optimization. Due to the real-time, asynchronous nature of this algorithm, updates to the state estimates from the high-latency smoother will naturally be delayed until the smoother calculations have completed. This architecture has been tested within a simulated aerial environment and on real data collected from an autonomous ground vehicle. In all cases, the concurrent architecture is shown to recover the full batch solution, even while updated state estimates are produced in real-time.
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    Information Fusion in Navigation Systems via Factor Graph Based Incremental Smoothing
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-08) Indelman, Vadim ; Williams, Stephen ; Kaess, Michael ; Dellaert, Frank
    This paper presents a new approach for high-rate information fusion in modern inertial navigation systems, that have a variety of sensors operating at different frequencies. Optimal information fusion corresponds to calculating the maximum a posteriori estimate over the joint probability distribution function (pdf) of all states, a computationally-expensive process in the general case. Our approach consists of two key components, which yields a flexible, high-rate, near-optimal inertial navigation system. First, the joint pdf is represented using a graphical model, the factor graph, that fully exploits the system sparsity and provides a plug and play capability that easily accommodates the addition and removal of measurement sources. Second, an efficient incremental inference algorithm over the factor graph is applied, whose performance approaches the solution that would be obtained by a computationally-expensive batch optimization at a fraction of the computational cost. To further aid high-rate performance, we introduce an equivalent IMU factor based on a recently developed technique for IMU pre-integration, drastically reducing the number of states that must be added to the system. The proposed approach is experimentally validated using real IMU and imagery data that was recorded by a ground vehicle, and a statistical performance study is conducted in a simulated aerial scenario. A comparison to conventional fixed-lag smoothing demonstrates that our method provides a considerably improved trade-off between computational complexity and performance.
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    Autonomous Flight in GPS-Denied Environments Using Monocular Vision and Inertial Sensors
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2013-04) Wu, Allen D. ; Johnson, Eric N. ; Kaess, Michael ; Dellaert, Frank ; Chowdhary, Girish
    A vision-aided inertial navigation system that enables autonomous flight of an aerial vehicle in GPS-denied environments is presented. Particularly, feature point information from a monocular vision sensor are used to bound the drift resulting from integrating accelerations and angular rate measurements from an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) forward in time. An Extended Kalman filter framework is proposed for performing the tasks of vision-based mapping and navigation separately. When GPS is available, multiple observations of a single landmark point from the vision sensor are used to estimate the point’s location in inertial space. When GPS is not available, points that have been sufficiently mapped out can be used for estimating vehicle position and attitude. Simulation and flight test results of a vehicle operating autonomously in a simplified loss-of-GPS scenario verify the presented method.
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    iSAM2: Incremental Smoothing and Mapping Using the Bayes Tree
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2012-02) Kaess, Michael ; Johannsson, Hordur ; Roberts, Richard ; Ila, Viorela ; Leonard, John ; Dellaert, Frank
    We present a novel data structure, the Bayes tree, that provides an algorithmic foundation enabling a better understanding of existing graphical model inference algorithms and their connection to sparse matrix factorization methods. Similar to a clique tree, a Bayes tree encodes a factored probability density, but unlike the clique tree it is directed and maps more naturally to the square root information matrix of the simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) problem. In this paper, we highlight three insights provided by our new data structure. First, the Bayes tree provides a better understanding of the matrix factorization in terms of probability densities. Second, we show how the fairly abstract updates to a matrix factorization translate to a simple editing of the Bayes tree and its conditional densities. Third, we apply the Bayes tree to obtain a completely novel algorithm for sparse nonlinear incremental optimization, named iSAM2, which achieves improvements in efficiency through incremental variable re-ordering and fluid relinearization, eliminating the need for periodic batch steps. We analyze various properties of iSAM2 in detail, and show on a range of real and simulated datasets that our algorithm compares favorably with other recent mapping algorithms in both quality and efficiency.
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    4D Cities: Analyzing, Visualizing, and Interacting with Historical Urban Photo Collections
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2012) Schindler, Grant ; Dellaert, Frank
    Vast collections of historical photographs are being digitally archived and placed online, providing an objective record of the last two centuries that remains largely untapped. In this work, we propose that time-varying 3D models can pull together and index large collections of images while also serving as a tool of historical discovery, revealing new information about the locations, dates, and contents of historical images. In particular, we use computer vision techniques to tie together large sets of historical photographs of a given city into a consistent 4D model of the city: a 3D model with time as an additional dimension.
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    Online Probabilistic Topological Mapping
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2011-01-24) Ranganathan, Ananth ; Dellaert, Frank
    We present a novel algorithm for topological mapping, which is the problem of finding the graph structure of an environment from a sequence of measurements. Our algorithm, called Online Probabilistic Topological Mapping (OPTM), systematically addresses the problem by constructing the posterior on the space of all possible topologies given measurements. With each successive measurement, the posterior is updated incrementally using a Rao–Blackwellized particle filter. We present efficient sampling mechanisms using data-driven proposals and prior distributions on topologies that further enable OPTM’s operation in an online manner. OPTM can incorporate various sensors seamlessly, as is demonstrated by our use of appearance, laser, and odometry measurements. OPTM is the first topological mapping algorithm that is theoretically accurate, systematic, sensor independent, and online, and thus advances the state of the art significantly. We evaluate the algorithm on a robot in diverse environments.
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    Binding Balls: Fast Detection of Binding Sites Using a Property of Spherical Fourier Transform
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2009) Comin, Matteo ; Guerra, Concettina ; Dellaert, Frank
    The functional prediction of proteins is one of the most challenging problems in modern biology. An established computational technique involves the identification of threedimensional local similarities in proteins. In this article, we present a novel method to quickly identify promising binding sites. Our aim is to efficiently detect putative binding sites without explicitly aligning them. Using the theory of Spherical Harmonics, a candidate binding site is modeled as a Binding Ball. The Binding Ball signature, offered by the Spherical Fourier coefficients, can be efficiently used for a fast detection of putative regions. Our contribution includes the Binding Ball modeling and the definition of a scoring function that does not require aligning candidate regions. Our scoring function can be computed efficiently using a property of Spherical Fourier transform (SFT) that avoids the evaluation of all alignments. Experiments on different ligands show good discrimination power when searching for known binding sites. Moreover, we prove that this method can save up to 40% in time compared with traditional approaches.
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    Learning and Inferring Motion Patterns Using Parametric Segmental Switching Linear Dynamic Systems
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2008) Oh, Sang Min ; Rehg, James M. ; Balch, Tucker ; Dellaert, Frank
    Switching Linear Dynamic System (SLDS) models are a popular technique for modeling complex nonlinear dynamic systems. An SLDS provides the possibility to describe complex temporal patterns more concisely and accurately than an HMM by using continuous hidden states. However, the use of SLDS models in practical applications is challenging for several reasons. First, exact inference in SLDS models is computationally intractable. Second, the geometric duration model induced in standard SLDSs limits their representational power. Third, standard SLDSs do not provide a systematic way to robustly interpret systematic variations governed by higher order parameters. The contributions in this paper address all three challenges above. First, we present a data-driven MCMC sampling method for SLDSs as a robust and efficient approximate inference method. Second, we present segmental switching linear dynamic systems (S-SLDS), where the geometric distributions are replaced with arbitrary duration models. Third, we extend the standard model with a parametric model that can capture systematic temporal and spatial variations. The resulting parametric SLDS model (P-SLDS) uses EM to robustly interpret parametrized motions by incorporating additional global parameters that underly systematic variations of the overall motion. The overall development of the proposed inference methods and extensions for SLDSs provide a robust framework to interpret complex motions. The framework is applied to the honey bee dance interpretation task in the context of the on-going BioTracking project at Georgia Institute of Technology. The experimental results suggest that the enhanced models provide an effective framework for a wide range of motion analysis applications.