Mobile robotic wireless sensor networks for efficient spatial prediction

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Conference Proceeding
IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2014, pp. 1176 - 1181
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© 2014 IEEE. This paper addresses the issue of monitoring physical spatial phenomena of interest utilizing the information collected by a network of mobile, wireless and noisy sensors that can take discrete measurements as they navigate through the environment. The spatial phenomenon is statistically modelled by a Gaussian Markov Random Field (GMRF) with hyperparameters that are learnt as the measurements accumulate over time. In this context, the GMRF approximately represents the spatial field on an irregular lattice of triangulation by exploiting a stochastic partial differential equation (SPDE) approach, which benefits remarkably in computation due to the sparsity of the precision matrix. A technique of the one-step-ahead forecast is employed to predict the future measurements that are required to find the optimal sampling locations. It is shown that optimizing the sampling path problem with the logarithm of the determinant either of a covariance matrix using a GP model or of a precision matrix using a GMRF model for mobile robotic wireless sensor networks (MRWSNs) even by a greedy algorithm is impractical. This paper proposes an efficient novel optimality criterion for the adaptive sampling strategy to find the most informative locations in taking future observations that minimize the uncertainty at unobserved locations. The computational complexity of our proposed method is linear, which makes the MRWSN scalable and practically feasible. The effectiveness of the proposed approach is compared and demonstrated using a pre-published data set with appealing results.
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