///Speeding Up Search-based Motion Planning Via Conservative Heuristics
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PhD Speaking Qualifier

April

23
Tue
Ishani Chatterjee PhD Student Robotics Institute,
Carnegie Mellon University
Tuesday, April 23
2:00 pm
- 3:00 pm
GHC 6501
Speeding Up Search-based Motion Planning Via Conservative Heuristics

Abstract:
Weighted A* search (wA*) is a popular tool for robot motion-planning. Its efficiency however depends on the quality of heuristic function used. In fact, it has been shown that the correlation between the heuristic function and the true cost-to-goal significantly affects the efficiency of the search, when used with a large weight on the heuristics. Motivated by this observation, we investigate the problem of computing heuristics that explicitly aim to minimize the amount of search efforts in finding a feasible plan. The key observation we exploit is that while a heuristic tries to guide the search along what looks like an optimal path towards the goal, there are other paths that are clearly sub-optimal yet are much easier to compute. For example, in motion planning domains like footstep-planning for humanoids, a heuristic that guides the search along a path away from obstacles is less likely to encounter local minima compared with the heuristics that guides the search along an optimal but close-to-obstacles path. We utilize this observation to define the concept of conservative heuristics and propose a simple algorithm for computing such a heuristic function. Experimental analysis on (1) humanoid footstep planning (simulation), (2) path planning for a UAV (simulation), and a real-world experiment in footstep-planning for a NAO robot shows the utility of the approach.

Committee:
Maxim Likhachev (advisor)
Manuela Veloso (advisor)
Stephen Smith
Sung Kyun Kim