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Volume 26 Issue 2 - Publication Date: 1 February 2007
Special Issue on the Fifth International Conference on Field and Service Robotics, 2005
 
D-SLAM: A Decoupled Solution to Simultaneous Localization and Mapping
 
Z. Wang, S. Huang and G. Dissanayake ARC Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems (CAS), Faculty of Engineering, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
 
The main contribution of this paper is the reformulation of the simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) problem for mobile robots such that the mapping and localization can be treated as two concurrent yet separated processes: D-SLAM (decoupled SLAM). It is shown that SLAM with a range and bearing sensor in an environment populated with point features can be decoupled into solving a nonlinear static estimation problem for mapping and a low-dimensional dynamic estimation problem for localization. This is achieved by transforming the measurement vector into two parts: one containing information relating features in the map and another with information relating the map and robot. It is shown that the new formulation results in an exactly sparse information matrix for mapping when it is solved using an Extended Information Filter (EIF). Thus asignificant saving in the computational effort can be achieved for large-scale problems by exploiting the special properties of sparse matrices. An important feature of D-SLAM is that the correlation among features in the map are still kept and it is demonstrated that the uncertainty of the feature estimates monotonically decreases. The algorithm is illustrated and evaluated through computer simulations and experiments.
 
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