Bayesian fusion using conditionally independent submaps for high resolution 2.5D mapping

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Conference Proceeding
Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2015, 2015-June (June), pp. 3394 - 3400
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© 2015 IEEE. Typically 2.5D maps provide a compact and efficient representation of the environment. When sensor data is obtained from multiple sets of noisy measurements at differing resolutions, the problem of compounding this information together to provide an effective and efficient means of mapping is not trivial, particularly as the size of the environment increases. In this paper, we propose a general framework for integrating heterogeneous sensor data to obtain large-scale 2.5D probabilistic maps. Gaussian Processes are used to generate a prior map that learns the spatial correlation between nearby points. Bayesian data fusion is then employed to update these prior maps with new measurements from distinct sensor modalities. In order to deal with large scale data, a novel submapping strategy is introduced to perform the fusion step efficiently in dealing with large covariance matrices. Submaps are first marginalised from the learned correlated prior and then updated based on the property of conditional independence. Most notably, the technique lends itself to generate accurate estimates at arbitrary resolutions and is able to handle varying noise from disparate sensor sources. The framework is applied to pipeline thickness mapping, with experimental results in fusing a high-resolution sensor and a low-resolution sensor showing the ability of the proposed technique to capture spatial correlations to come up with more accurate results when compared with a naïve fusion approach.
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