AAAI Publications, Twenty-Sixth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Efficient Optimization of Control Libraries
Debadeepta Dey, Tian Yu Liu, Boris Sofman, James Andrew Bagnell

Last modified: 2012-07-14


A popular approach to high dimensional control problems in robotics uses a library of candidate “maneuvers” or “trajectories”. The library is either evaluated on a fixed number of candidate choices at runtime (e.g. path set selection for planning) or by iterating through a sequence of feasible choices until success is achieved (e.g. grasp selection). The performance of the library relies heavily on the content and order of the sequence of candidates. We propose a provably efficient method to optimize such libraries, leveraging recent advances in optimizing submodular functions of sequences. This approach is demonstrated on two important problems: mobile robot navigation and manipulator grasp set selection. In the first case, performance can be improved by choosing a subset of candidates which optimizes the metric under consideration (cost of traversal). In the second case, performance can be optimized by minimizing the depth in the list that is searched before a successful candidate is found. Our method can be used in both on-line and batch settings with provable performance guarantees, and can be run in an anytime manner to handle real-time constraints.


Robotics; Submodularity; Optimization; Controls; Manipulation; Path Planning

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