Coupling conditionally independent submaps for large-scale 2.5D mapping with Gaussian Markov Random Fields

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2017, pp. 3131 - 3137
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© 2017 IEEE. Building large-scale 2.5D maps when spatial correlations are considered can be quite expensive, but there are clear advantages when fusing data. While optimal submapping strategies have been explored previously in covariance-form using Gaussian Process for large-scale mapping, this paper focuses on transferring such concepts into information form. By exploiting the conditional independence property of the Gaussian Markov Random Field (GMRF) models, we propose a submapping approach to build a nearly optimal global 2.5D map. In the proposed approach data is fused by first fitting a GMRF to one sensor dataset; then conditional independent submaps are inferred using this model and updated individually with new data arrives. Finally, the information is propagated from submap to submap to later recover the fully updated map. This is efficiently achieved by exploiting the inherent structure of the GMRF, fusion and propagation all in information form. The key contribution of this paper is the derivation of the algorithm to optimally propagate information through submaps by only updating the common parts between submaps. Our results show the proposed method reduces the computational complexity of the full mapping process while maintaining the accuracy. The performance is evaluated on synthetic data from the Canadian Digital Elevation Data.
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