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Loop detection and extended target tracking using laser data

Author: K. Granström
Published: Licentiate Thesis no. 1465, Feb 2011.
Research area: Signal Processing
Keywords: Loop closure, SLAM, extended targets, target tracking, laser range data, classification, AdaBoost

Thesis as PDF (9996 kbytes)

In the past two decades, robotics and autonomous vehicles have received ever increasing research attention. For an autonomous robot to function fully autonomously alongside humans, it must be able to solve the same tasks as humans do, and it must be able to sense the surrounding environment. Two such tasks are addressed in this thesis, using data from laser range sensors.

The first task is recognising that the robot has returned to a previously visited location, a problem called loop closure detection. Loop closure detection is a fundamental part of the simultaneous localisation and mapping problem, which consists of mapping an unknown area and simultaneously localise in the same map. In this thesis, a classification approach is taken to the loop closure detection problem. The laser range data is described in terms of geometrical and statistical properties, called features. Pairs of laser range data from two different locations are compared by using adaptive boosting to construct a classifier that takes as input the computed features. Experiments using real world laser data are used to evaluate the properties of the classifier, and the classifier is shown to compare well to existing solutions.

The second task is keeping track of objects that surround the robot, a problem called target tracking. Target tracking is an estimation problem in which data association between the estimates and measurements is of high importance. The data association is complicated by things such as noise and false measurements. In this thesis, extended targets, i.e. targets that potentially generate more than one measurement per time step, are considered. The multiple measurements per time step further complicate the data association. Tracking of extended targets is performed using an implementation of a probability hypothesis density filter, which is evaluated in simulations using the optimal sub-pattern assignment metric. The filter is also used to track humans with real world laser range data, and the experiments show that the filter can handle the so called occlusion problem.


    author = "Granstr{\"{o}}m, Karl",
    title = "Loop detection and extended target tracking using laser data",
    school = "Department of Electrical Engineering, Link{\"{o}}ping University",
    year = "2011",
    month = Feb,
    address = "SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden",
    type = "Licentiate Thesis no. 1465",