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A Scalable Information Theoretic Approach to Multi-robot Coordination

Julian, Brian J. and Angermann, Michael and Schwager, Mac and Rus, Daniela (2011) A Scalable Information Theoretic Approach to Multi-robot Coordination. IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robot & Systems (IROS) 2011, San Francisco, CA, USA.

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This paper presents a scalable information theoretic approach to infer the state of an environment by distributively controlling robots equipped with sensors. The robots iteratively estimate the environment state using a recursive Bayesian filter, while continuously moving to improve the quality of the estimate by following the gradient of mutual information. Both the filter and the controller use a novel algorithm for approximating the robots’ joint measurement probabilities, which combines consensus (for decentralization) and sampling (for scalability). The approximations are shown to approach the true joint measurement probabilities as the size of the consensus rounds grows or as the network becomes complete. The resulting gradient controller runs in constant time with respect to the number of robots, and linear time with respect to the number of sensor measurements and environment discretization cells, while traditional mutual information methods are exponential in all of these quantities. Furthermore, the controller is proven to be convergent between consensus rounds and, under certain conditions, is locally optimal. The complete distributed inference and coordination algorithm is demonstrated in experiments with five quad-rotor flying robots and simulations with 100 robots.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/74252/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech, Paper)
Title:A Scalable Information Theoretic Approach to Multi-robot Coordination
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Date:September 2011
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:Multi-robot coordination
Event Title:IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robot & Systems (IROS) 2011
Event Location:San Francisco, CA, USA
Event Type:international Conference
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Transport
HGF - Program Themes:Traffic Management (old)
DLR - Research area:Transport
DLR - Program:V VM - Verkehrsmanagement
DLR - Research theme (Project):V - VABENE (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Communication and Navigation > Communications Systems
Deposited By: Angermann, Dr.-Ing. Michael
Deposited On:23 Jan 2012 11:23
Last Modified:23 Jan 2012 11:23

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