Bayesian Landmark Learning for Mobile Robot Localization

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To operate successfully in indoor environments, mobile robots must be able to localize themselves. Most current localization algorithms lack flexibility, autonomy, and often optimality, since they rely on a human to determine what aspects of the sensor data to use in localization (e.g., what landmarks to use). This paper describes a learning algorithm, called BaLL, that enables mobile robots to learn what features/landmarks are best suited for localization, and also to train artificial neural networks for extracting them from the sensor data. A rigorous Bayesian analysis of probabilistic localization is presented, which produces a rational argument for evaluating features, for selecting them optimally, and for training the networks that approximate the optimal solution. In a systematic experimental study, BaLL outperforms two other recent approaches to mobile robot localization.

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