Publications

    Dissertation: Scalable Online Decentralized Smoothing and Mapping


Defense: February 2014
Accepted:
April 2014
Advisors: Dr. Frank Dellaert and Dr. Ayanna Howard (Co-advisor)
Abstract:

Many applications for field robots can benefit from large numbers of robots, especially applications where the objective is for the robots to cover or explore a region. A key enabling technology for robust autonomy in these teams of small and cheap robots is the development of collaborative perception to account for the shortcomings of the small and cheap sensors on the robots.

In this dissertation, I present DDF-SAM to address the decentralized data fusion (DDF) inference problem with a smoothing and mapping (SAM) approach to single-robot mapping that is online, scalable and consistent while supporting a variety of sensing modalities. The DDF-SAM approach performs fully decentralized simultaneous localization and mapping in which robots choose a relevant subset of variables from their local map to share with neighbors. Each robot summarizes their local map to yield a density on exactly this chosen set of variables, and then distributes this summarized map to neighboring robots, allowing map information to propagate throughout the network. Each robot fuses summarized maps it receives to yield a map solution with an extended sensor horizon.

I introduce two primary variations on DDF-SAM, one that uses a batch nonlinear constrained optimization procedure to combine maps, DDF-SAM 1.0, and one that uses an incremental solving approach for substantially faster performance, DDF-SAM 2.0. I validate these systems using a combination of real-world and simulated experiments. In addition, I evaluate design trade-offs for operations within DDF-SAM, with a focus on efficient approximate map summarization to minimize communication costs.

[GT Dissertation Repository]

    Book Chapters

                                    

Effects of sensory precision on mobile robot localization and mapping. Carlos Nieto-Granda, Alex J. Trevor, John G. Rogers, Alexander G. Cunningham, Manohar Paluri, Nathan Michael, Frank Dellaert, Henrik I.Christensen, and Vijay Kumar.  In Experimental Robotics, STAR. Springer Verlag, Heidelberg/New York, Jan 2014, pp. 433-446.


    Conference Papers

 

Continuous-Time Estimation for Dynamic Obstacle Tracking. Arash Ushani, Nicholas Carlevaris-Bianco, Alexander G. Cunningham, Enric Galceran, Ryan M. Eustice. 2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (Hamburg, Germany, September 2015). To appear.


 


Multipolicy Decision-Making for Autonomous Driving via Changepoint-based Behavior Prediction
. Enric Galceran, Alexander G. Cunningham, Ryan M. Eustice, and Edwin Olson. Robotics: Science and Systems (Rome, Italy, July 2015).

[pdf] [slides]
 


MPDM: Multipolicy Decision Making in Dynamic, Uncertain Environments for Autonomous Driving. Alexander G. Cunningham, Enric Galceran, Ryan Eustice, Edwin Olson. 2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (Seattle, USA, May 2015).

[pdf] [video] [slides]

 

Cooperative Localization by Factor Composition with Faulty Low-Bandwidth Communication Channels. Jeffrey Walls, Alexander G. Cunningham, Ryan Eustice.  2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (Seattle, USA, May 2015).

[pdf]

 

DDF-SAM 2.0: Consistent Distributed Smoothing and Mapping, Alexander Cunningham, Vadim Indelman and Frank Dellaert. 2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (Karlsruhe, Germany., May 2013).

[pdf] [borg] [prezi]

 

Consistent Decentralized Graphical SLAM with Anti-Factor Down-Dating, Alexander Cunningham, Vadim Indelman and Frank Dellaert. 2012 IEEE International Symposium on Safety, Security, and Rescue Robotics (College Station, TX., Nov 2012). Accepted as late-breaking report.

[pdf] [borg]

 
 

Accurate On-Line 3D Occupancy Grids Using Manhattan World Constraints, Brian Peasley, Stan Birchfield, Alexander Cunningham, and Frank Dellaert. 2012 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS2012) (Vilamoura, Portugal, Oct 2012).

[pdf] [borg]

 
 

Fully Distributed Scalable Smoothing and Mapping with Robust Multi-robot Data Association, Alexander Cunningham, Kai M. Wurm, Wolfram Burgard and Frank Dellaert, 2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (Saint Paul, MN., May 2012).

[pdf] [borg]

 
 

Large-scale experimental design for decentralized SLAM, Alexander Cunningham and Frank Dellaert, Unmanned Systems Technology XIV, SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing (Baltimore, MD., April 2012), SPIE.

[pdf] [borg]

 
 

Results from MAST Joint Experiment 3.1, John G. Rogers, Alexander Cunningham, Manohar Paluri, Henrik I. Christensen, Frank Dellaert, Nathan Michael, Vijay Kumar, and Larry Mathies. In Defense, Security and Sensing (Orlando, Fl., April 2011), SPIE.

[pdf] [borg]

 
 

Effects of sensory precision on mobile robot localization and mapping, John G. Rogers, Alexander Trevor, Carlos Nieto-Granda, Alexander Cunningham, Manohar Paluri, Nathan Michael, Henrik I. Christensen. In International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (Delhi, India, Dec 2010), IFRR.

[pdf] [borg]

 
 

DDF-SAM: Fully Distributed SLAM using Constrained Factor Graphs, Alexander Cunningham, Manohar Paluri, and Frank Dellaert, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2010.

[pdf] [borg]


    Workshop Papers

 

Understanding the Past to Predict the Future: Multipolicy Decision-Making using Changepoints for Autonomous Driving. Enric Galceran, Alexander G. Cunningham, Ryan M. Eustice and Edwin Olson. ICRA 2015 Workshop: Beyond Geometric Constraints: Planning for Solving Complex Tasks, Reducing Uncertainty, and Generating Informative Paths & Policies (Seattle, Washington, May 2015).

[pdf]

    Technical Reports

 

Local Exponential Maps: Towards Massively Distributed Multi-robot Mapping, Frank Dellaert, Alireza Fathi, Alexander Cunningham, Manohar Paluri, and Kai Ni, GVU Center; College of Computing; Georgia Tech, GIT-GVU-10-04, 2010

[pdf] [borg]

 
 

EasySLAM, Alireza Fathi, Alexander Cunningham, Manohar Paluri, Kai Ni, and Frank Dellaert, GVU Center; College of Computing; Georgia Tech, GIT-GVU-10-03, 2010

[pdf] [borg]