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66
Map Learning with Uninterpreted Sensors and Effectors
 Artificial Intelligence
, 1997
"... This paper presents a set of methods by which a learning agent can learn a sequence of increasingly abstract and powerful interfaces to control a robot whose sensorimotor apparatus and environment are initially unknown. The result of the learning is a rich hierarchical model of the robot's world (it ..."
Abstract

Cited by 129 (20 self)
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This paper presents a set of methods by which a learning agent can learn a sequence of increasingly abstract and powerful interfaces to control a robot whose sensorimotor apparatus and environment are initially unknown. The result of the learning is a rich hierarchical model of the robot's world (its sensorimotor apparatus and environment). The learning methods rely on generic properties of the robot's world such as almosteverywhere smooth e ects of motor control signals on sensory features. At thelowest level of the hierarchy, the learning agent analyzes the e ects of its motor control signals in order to de ne a new set of control signals, one for each of the robot's degrees of freedom. It uses a generateandtest approach to de ne sensory features that capture important aspects of the environment. It uses linear regression to learn models that characterize contextdependent e ects of the control signals on the learned features. It uses these models to de ne highlevel control laws for nding and following paths de ned using constraints on the learned features. The agent abstracts these control laws, which interact with the continuous environment, to a nite set of actions that implement discrete state transitions. At this point, the agent has abstracted the robot's continuous world to a nitestate world and can use existing methods to learn its structure. The learning agent's methods are evaluated on several simulated robots with di erent sensorimotor systems and environments.
Mobile Robot Localization Using Landmarks
, 1997
"... We describe an efficient method for localizing a mobile robot in an environment with landmarks. We assume that the robot can identify these landmarks and measure their bearings relative to each other. Given such noisy input, the algorithm estimates the robot's position and orientation with respect t ..."
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Cited by 117 (5 self)
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We describe an efficient method for localizing a mobile robot in an environment with landmarks. We assume that the robot can identify these landmarks and measure their bearings relative to each other. Given such noisy input, the algorithm estimates the robot's position and orientation with respect to the map of the environment. The algorithm makes efficient use of our representation of the landmarks by complex numbers. The algorithm runs in time linear in the number of landmarks. We present results of simulations and propose how to use our method for robot navigation.
Bayesian Landmark Learning for Mobile Robot Localization
, 1998
"... . To operate successfully in indoor environments, mobile robots must be able to localize themselves. Most current localization algorithms lack flexibility, autonomy, and often optimality, since they rely on a human to determine what aspects of the sensor data to use in localization (e.g., what landm ..."
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Cited by 112 (16 self)
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. To operate successfully in indoor environments, mobile robots must be able to localize themselves. Most current localization algorithms lack flexibility, autonomy, and often optimality, since they rely on a human to determine what aspects of the sensor data to use in localization (e.g., what landmarks to use). This paper describes a learning algorithm, called BaLL, that enables mobile robots to learn what features/landmarks are best suited for localization, and also to train artificial neural networks for extracting them from the sensor data. A rigorous Bayesian analysis of probabilistic localization is presented, which produces a rational argument for evaluating features, for selecting them optimally, and for training the networks that approximate the optimal solution. In a systematic experimental study, BaLL outperforms two other recent approaches to mobile robot localization. Keywords: artificial neural networks, Bayesian analysis, feature extraction, landmarks, localization, mobi...
Qualitative Spatial Reasoning: Cardinal Directions as an Example
, 1996
"... Geographers use spatial reasoning extensively in largescale spaces, i.e., spaces that cannot be seen or understood from a single point of view. Spatial reasoning differentiates several spatial relations, e.g. topological or metric relations, and is typically formalized using a Cartesian coordinate ..."
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Cited by 99 (7 self)
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Geographers use spatial reasoning extensively in largescale spaces, i.e., spaces that cannot be seen or understood from a single point of view. Spatial reasoning differentiates several spatial relations, e.g. topological or metric relations, and is typically formalized using a Cartesian coordinate system and vector algebra. This quantitative processing of information is clearly different from the ways humans draw conclusions about spatial relations. Formalized qualitative reasoning processes are shown to be a necessary part of Spatial Expert Systems and Geographic Information Systems. Addressing a subset of the total problem, namely reasoning with cardinal directions, a completely qualitative method, without recourse to analytical procedures, is introduced and a method for its formal comparison with quantitative formulae is defined. The focus is on the analysis of cardinal directions and their properties. An algebraic method is used to formalize the meaning of directions. The standard...
MultiRobot Collaboration for Robust Exploration
, 2000
"... This paper presents a new sensing modality for multirobot exploration. The approach is based on using a pair of robots that observe each other, and act in concert to reduce odometry errors. We assume the robots can both directly sense nearby obstacles and see each other. The proposed approach imp ..."
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Cited by 86 (10 self)
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This paper presents a new sensing modality for multirobot exploration. The approach is based on using a pair of robots that observe each other, and act in concert to reduce odometry errors. We assume the robots can both directly sense nearby obstacles and see each other. The proposed approach improves the quality of the map by reducing the inaccuracies that occur over time from dead reckoning errors. Furthermore, by exploiting the ability of the robots to see each other, we can detect opaque obstacles in the environment independently of their surface reectance properties. Two dierent algorithms, based on the size of the environment, are introduced, with a complexity analysis, and experimental results in simulation and with real robots. Keywords: Exploration, Mapping, Multiple Robots, Cooperative Localization. 1. Introduction In this paper we discuss the benets of cooperative localization during the exploration of a large environment. A new
Learning Maps for Indoor Mobile Robot Navigation
 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (ACCEPTED FOR PUBLICATION)
, 1997
"... Autonomous robots must be able to learn and maintain models of their environments. Research on mobile robot navigation has produced two major paradigms for mapping indoor environments: gridbased and topological. While gridbased methods produce accurate metric maps, their complexity often prohibits ..."
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Cited by 83 (12 self)
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Autonomous robots must be able to learn and maintain models of their environments. Research on mobile robot navigation has produced two major paradigms for mapping indoor environments: gridbased and topological. While gridbased methods produce accurate metric maps, their complexity often prohibits efficient planning and problem solving in largescale indoor environments. Topological maps, on the other hand, can be used much more efficiently, yet accurate and consistent topological maps are often difficult to learn and maintain in largescale environments, particularly if momentary sensor data is highly ambiguous. This paper describes an approach that integrates both paradigms: gridbased and topological. Gridbased maps are learned using artificial neural networks and naive Bayesian integration. Topological maps are generated on top of the gridbased maps, by partitioning the latter into coherent regions. By combining both paradigms, the approach presented here gains advantages from both worlds: accuracy/consistency and efficiency. The paper gives results for autonomous exploration, mapping and operation of a mobile robot in populated multiroom environments.
Integrating topological and metric maps for mobile robot navigation: A statistical approach
 In Proceedings of the AAAI Fifteenth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence
, 1998
"... The problem of concurrent mapping and localization has received considerable attention in the mobile robotics community. Existing approaches can largely be grouped into two distinct paradigms: topological and metric. This paper proposes a method that integrates both. It poses the mapping problem as ..."
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Cited by 68 (13 self)
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The problem of concurrent mapping and localization has received considerable attention in the mobile robotics community. Existing approaches can largely be grouped into two distinct paradigms: topological and metric. This paper proposes a method that integrates both. It poses the mapping problem as a statistical maximum likelihood problem, and devises an efficient algorithm for search in likelihood space. It presents an novel mapping algorithm that integrates two phases: a topological and a metric mapping phase. The topological mapping phase solves a global position alignment problem between potentially indistinguishable, significant places. The subsequent metric mapping phase produces a finegrained metric map of the environment in floatingpoint resolution. The approach is demonstrated empirically to scale up to large, cyclic, and highly ambiguous environments.
Towards a General Theory of Topological Maps
 Artificial Intelligence
, 2002
"... We present a general theory of topological maps whereby sensory input, topological and local metrical information are combined to define the topological maps explaining such information. Topological maps correspond to the minimal models of an axiomatic theory describing the relationships between ..."
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Cited by 67 (9 self)
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We present a general theory of topological maps whereby sensory input, topological and local metrical information are combined to define the topological maps explaining such information. Topological maps correspond to the minimal models of an axiomatic theory describing the relationships between the different sources of information explained by a map. We use a circumscriptive theory to specify the minimal models associated with this representation.
Multirobot exploration of an unknown environment, efficiently reducing the odometry error
 In Proc. of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI
, 1997
"... This paper deals with the intelligent exploration of an unknown environment by autonomous robots. In particular, we present an algorithm and associated analysis for collaborative exploration using two mobile robots. Our approach is based on robots with range sensors limited by distance. By appropria ..."
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Cited by 66 (5 self)
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This paper deals with the intelligent exploration of an unknown environment by autonomous robots. In particular, we present an algorithm and associated analysis for collaborative exploration using two mobile robots. Our approach is based on robots with range sensors limited by distance. By appropriate behavioural strategies, we show that odometry (motion) errors that would normally present problems for mapping can be severely reduced. Our analysis includes polynomial complexity bounds and a discussion of possible heuristics. 1
VisionBased Motion Planning and Exploration Algorithms for Mobile Robots
 Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics
, 1999
"... This paper considers the problem of systematically exploring an unfamiliar environment in search of one or more recognizable targets. The proposed exploration algorithm is based on a novel representation of environments containing visual landmarks called the boundary place graph. This representation ..."
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Cited by 38 (1 self)
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This paper considers the problem of systematically exploring an unfamiliar environment in search of one or more recognizable targets. The proposed exploration algorithm is based on a novel representation of environments containing visual landmarks called the boundary place graph. This representation records the set of recognizable objects (landmarks) that are visible from the boundary of each configuration space obstacle. No metric information about the scene geometry is recorded nor are explicit prescriptions for moving between places stored. The exploration algorithm constructs the boundary place graph incrementally from sensor data. Once the robot has completely explored an environment, it can use the constructed representation to carry out further navigation tasks. In order to precisely characterize the set of environments in which this algorithm is expected to succeed, weprovide a necessary and sufficient condition under which the algorithm is guaranteed to discover all landmarks. This algorithm has been implemented on our mobile robot platform RJ, and results from these experiments are presented. Importantly, this research demonstrates that it is possible to design and implementprovably correct exploration and navigation algorithms that do not require global positioning systems or metric representations of the environment. Keywords exploration, navigation, mobile robots, landmarks I.