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Estimation, Search, and Planning (ESP) Research Group

Informed sampling for asymptotically optimal path planning

Authors
  1. Jonathan D. Gammell
  2. Timothy D. Barfoot
  3. Siddhartha S. Srinivasa
Publication Date
Abstract

Anytime almost-surely asymptotically optimal planners, such as RRT*, incrementally find paths to every state in the search domain. This is inefficient once an initial solution is found as then only states that can provide a better solution need to be considered. Exact knowledge of these states requires solving the problem but can be approximated with heuristics.

This paper formally defines these sets of states and demonstrates how they can be used to analyze arbitrary planning problems. It uses the well-known L2 norm (i.e., Euclidean distance) to analyze minimum-path-length problems and shows that existing approaches decrease in effectiveness factorially (i.e., faster than exponentially) with state dimension. It presents a method to address this curse of dimensionality by directly sampling the prolate hyperspheroids (i.e., symmetric n-dimensional ellipses) that define the L2 informed set.

The importance of this direct informed sampling technique is demonstrated with Informed RRT*. This extension of RRT* has less theoretical dependence on state dimension and problem size than existing techniques and allows for linear convergence on some problems. It is shown experimentally to find better solutions faster than existing techniques on both abstract planning problems and HERB, a two-arm manipulation robot.

Publication Details
Type
Journal Paper
Journal
IEEE Transactions on Robotics (T-RO)
Volume
34
Number
4
Pages
966–984
Digital Object Identifier DOI
10.1109/TRO.2018.2830331
arXiv Identifier arXiv
1706.06454 [cs.RO]
Manuscript
Open-Access PDF (Updated)PDF
https://arxiv.org/pdf/1706.06454 (extended version)
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BibTeX Entry
@article{gammell_tro18,
author = {Jonathan D Gammell and Timothy D Barfoot and Siddhartha S Srinivasa},
title = {Informed sampling for asymptotically optimal path planning},
journal = {{IEEE} Transactions on Robotics ({T-RO})},
year = {2018},
volume = {34},
number = {4},
pages = {966--984},
month = aug,
doi = {10.1109/TRO.2018.2830331},
}