Robotics: Science and Systems XII

Motion Planning as Probabilistic Inference using Gaussian Processes and Factor Graphs

Jing Dong, Mustafa Mukadam, Frank Dellaert, Byron Boots


With the increased use of high degree-of-freedom robots that must perform tasks in real-time, there is a need for fast algorithms for motion planning. In this work, we view motion planning from a probabilistic perspective. We consider smooth continuous-time trajectories as samples from a Gaussian process (GP) and formulate the planning problem as probabilistic inference. We use factor graphs and numerical optimization to perform inference quickly, and we show how GP interpolation can further increase the speed of the algorithm. Our framework also allows us to incrementally update the solution of the planning problem to contend with changing conditions. We benchmark our algorithm against several recent trajectory optimization algorithms on planning problems in multiple environments. Our evaluation reveals that our approach is several times faster than previous algorithms while retaining robustness. Finally, we demonstrate the incremental version of our algorithm on replanning problems, and show that it often can find successful solutions in a fraction of the time required to replan from scratch.



    AUTHOR    = {Jing Dong AND Mustafa Mukadam AND Frank Dellaert AND Byron Boots}, 
    TITLE     = {Motion Planning as Probabilistic Inference using Gaussian Processes and Factor Graphs}, 
    BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems}, 
    YEAR      = {2016}, 
    ADDRESS   = {AnnArbor, Michigan}, 
    MONTH     = {June}, 
    DOI       = {10.15607/RSS.2016.XII.001}