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Title: Constructing informative Bayesian priors to improve SLAM map quality
Author: Georgiou, Christina Nefeli
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 3609
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2016
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The problem of Simultaneous Localisation And Mapping (SLAM) has been widely researched and has been of particular interest in recent years, with robots and self driving cars becoming ubiquitous. SLAM solutions to date have aimed to produce faster, more robust solutions that yield consistent maps by improving the filtering algorithms used, introducing better sensors, more efficient map representations or improved motion estimates. Whilst performing well in simplified scenarios, many of these solutions perform poorly in challenging real life scenarios. It is therefore important to produce SLAM solutions that can perform well even when using limited computational resources and performing a quick exploration for time critical operations such as Urban Search And Rescue missions. In order to address this problem this thesis proposes the construction of informative Bayesian priors to improve performance without adding to the computational complexity of the SLAM algorithm. Indoors occupancy grid SLAM is used as a case study to demonstrate this concept and architectural drawings are used as a source of prior information. The use of prior information to improve the performance of robotics systems has been successful in applications such as visual odometry, self-driving car navigation and object recognition. However, none of these solutions leverage prior information to construct Bayesian priors that can be used in recursive map estimation. This thesis addresses this problem and proposes a novel method to process architectural drawings and floor plans to extract structural information. A study is then conducted to identify optimal prior values of occupancy to assign to extracted walls and empty space. A novel approach is proposed to assess the quality of maps produced using different priors and a multi-objective optimisation is used to identify Pareto optimal values. The proposed informative priors are found to perform better than the commonly used non-informative prior, yielding an increase of over 20% in the F2 metric, without adding to the computational complexity of the SLAM algorithm.
Supervisor: Todd, Tony ; Anderson, Sean Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available