Novel insights into the impact of graph structure on SLAM

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2014, pp. 2707 - 2714
Issue Date:
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© 2014 IEEE. SLAM can be viewed as an estimation problem over graphs. It is well known that the topology of each dataset affects the quality of the corresponding optimal estimate. In this paper we present a formal analysis of the impact of graph structure on the reliability of the maximum likelihood estimator. In particular, we show that the number of spanning trees in the graph is closely related to the D-optimality criterion in experimental design. We also reveal that in a special class of linear-Gaussian estimation problems over graphs, the algebraic connectivity is related to the E-optimality design criterion. Furthermore, we explain how the average node degree of the graph is related to the ratio between the minimum of negative log-likelihood achievable and its value at the ground truth. These novel insights give us a deeper understanding of the SLAM problem. Finally we discuss two important applications of our analysis in active measurement selection and graph pruning. The results obtained from simulations and experiments on real data confirm our theoretical findings.
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