Learning Occupancy Grids With Forward Sensor Models
This article describes a new algorithm for acquiring occupancy grid maps with mobile robots. Virtually all existing occupancy grid mapping algorithms decompose the high-dimensional mapping problem into a collection of one-dimensional problems, where the occupancy of each grid cell is estimated independently. This induces conflicts that may lead to inconsistent maps. This article shows how to solve the mapping problem in the original, high-dimensional space, thereby maintaining all dependencies between neighboring cells. As a result, maps generated by our approach are often more accurate than those generated using traditional techniques. Our approach relies on a statistical formulation of the mapping problem using forward models. It employs the expectation maximization algorithm for searching maps that maximize the likelihood of the sensor measurements.
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