Plotting

Results


Distributed Mission Planning of Complex Tasks for Heterogeneous Multi-Robot Teams

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In this paper, we propose a distributed multi-stage optimization method for planning complex missions for heterogeneous multi-robot teams. This class of problems involves tasks that can be executed in different ways and are associated with cross-schedule dependencies that constrain the schedules of the different robots in the system. The proposed approach involves a multi-objective heuristic search of the mission, represented as a hierarchical tree that defines the mission goal. This procedure outputs several favorable ways to fulfill the mission, which directly feed into the next stage of the method. We propose a distributed metaheuristic based on evolutionary computation to allocate tasks and generate schedules for the set of chosen decompositions. The method is evaluated in a simulation setup of an automated greenhouse use case, where we demonstrate the method's ability to adapt the planning strategy depending on the available robots and the given optimization criteria.


Risk Conditioned Neural Motion Planning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Risk-bounded motion planning is an important yet difficult problem for safety-critical tasks. While existing mathematical programming methods offer theoretical guarantees in the context of constrained Markov decision processes, they either lack scalability in solving larger problems or produce conservative plans. Recent advances in deep reinforcement learning improve scalability by learning policy networks as function approximators. In this paper, we propose an extension of soft actor critic model to estimate the execution risk of a plan through a risk critic and produce risk-bounded policies efficiently by adding an extra risk term in the loss function of the policy network. We define the execution risk in an accurate form, as opposed to approximating it through a summation of immediate risks at each time step that leads to conservative plans. Our proposed model is conditioned on a continuous spectrum of risk bounds, allowing the user to adjust the risk-averse level of the agent on the fly. Through a set of experiments, we show the advantage of our model in terms of both computational time and plan quality, compared to a state-of-the-art mathematical programming baseline, and validate its performance in more complicated scenarios, including nonlinear dynamics and larger state space.


Learning Interaction-aware Guidance Policies for Motion Planning in Dense Traffic Scenarios

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Autonomous navigation in dense traffic scenarios remains challenging for autonomous vehicles (AVs) because the intentions of other drivers are not directly observable and AVs have to deal with a wide range of driving behaviors. To maneuver through dense traffic, AVs must be able to reason how their actions affect others (interaction model) and exploit this reasoning to navigate through dense traffic safely. This paper presents a novel framework for interaction-aware motion planning in dense traffic scenarios. We explore the connection between human driving behavior and their velocity changes when interacting. Hence, we propose to learn, via deep Reinforcement Learning (RL), an interaction-aware policy providing global guidance about the cooperativeness of other vehicles to an optimization-based planner ensuring safety and kinematic feasibility through constraint satisfaction. The learned policy can reason and guide the local optimization-based planner with interactive behavior to pro-actively merge in dense traffic while remaining safe in case the other vehicles do not yield. We present qualitative and quantitative results in highly interactive simulation environments (highway merging and unprotected left turns) against two baseline approaches, a learning-based and an optimization-based method. The presented results demonstrate that our method significantly reduces the number of collisions and increases the success rate with respect to both learning-based and optimization-based baselines.


MPTP: Motion-Planning-aware Task Planning for Navigation in Belief Space

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We present an integrated Task-Motion Planning (TMP) framework for navigation in large-scale environments. Of late, TMP for manipulation has attracted significant interest resulting in a proliferation of different approaches. In contrast, TMP for navigation has received considerably less attention. Autonomous robots operating in real-world complex scenarios require planning in the discrete (task) space and the continuous (motion) space. In knowledge-intensive domains, on the one hand, a robot has to reason at the highest-level, for example, the objects to procure, the regions to navigate to in order to acquire them; on the other hand, the feasibility of the respective navigation tasks have to be checked at the execution level. This presents a need for motion-planning-aware task planners. In this paper, we discuss a probabilistically complete approach that leverages this task-motion interaction for navigating in large knowledge-intensive domains, returning a plan that is optimal at the task-level. The framework is intended for motion planning under motion and sensing uncertainty, which is formally known as belief space planning. The underlying methodology is validated in simulation, in an office environment and its scalability is tested in the larger Willow Garage world. A reasonable comparison with a work that is closest to our approach is also provided. We also demonstrate the adaptability of our approach by considering a building floor navigation domain. Finally, we also discuss the limitations of our approach and put forward suggestions for improvements and future work.


Self-Imitation Learning by Planning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Imitation learning (IL) enables robots to acquire skills quickly by transferring expert knowledge, which is widely adopted in reinforcement learning (RL) to initialize exploration. However, in long-horizon motion planning tasks, a challenging problem in deploying IL and RL methods is how to generate and collect massive, broadly distributed data such that these methods can generalize effectively. In this work, we solve this problem using our proposed approach called {self-imitation learning by planning (SILP)}, where demonstration data are collected automatically by planning on the visited states from the current policy. SILP is inspired by the observation that successfully visited states in the early reinforcement learning stage are collision-free nodes in the graph-search based motion planner, so we can plan and relabel robot's own trials as demonstrations for policy learning. Due to these self-generated demonstrations, we relieve the human operator from the laborious data preparation process required by IL and RL methods in solving complex motion planning tasks. The evaluation results show that our SILP method achieves higher success rates and enhances sample efficiency compared to selected baselines, and the policy learned in simulation performs well in a real-world placement task with changing goals and obstacles.


CAMPs: Learning Context-Specific Abstractions for Efficient Planning in Factored MDPs

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Meta-planning, or learning to guide planning from experience, is a promising approach to improving the computational cost of planning. A general meta-planning strategy is to learn to impose constraints on the states considered and actions taken by the agent. We observe that (1) imposing a constraint can induce context-specific independences that render some aspects of the domain irrelevant, and (2) an agent can take advantage of this fact by imposing constraints on its own behavior. These observations lead us to propose the context-specific abstract Markov decision process (CAMP), an abstraction of a factored MDP that affords efficient planning. We then describe how to learn constraints to impose so the CAMP optimizes a trade-off between rewards and computational cost. Our experiments consider five planners across four domains, including robotic navigation among movable obstacles (NAMO), robotic task and motion planning for sequential manipulation, and classical planning. We find planning with learned CAMPs to consistently outperform baselines, including Stilman's NAMO-specific algorithm. Video: https://youtu.be/wTXt6djcAd4


Deep Visual Reasoning: Learning to Predict Action Sequences for Task and Motion Planning from an Initial Scene Image

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In this paper, we propose a deep convolutional recurrent neural network that predicts action sequences for task and motion planning (TAMP) from an initial scene image. Typical TAMP problems are formalized by combining reasoning on a symbolic, discrete level (e.g. first-order logic) with continuous motion planning such as nonlinear trajectory optimization. Due to the great combinatorial complexity of possible discrete action sequences, a large number of optimization/motion planning problems have to be solved to find a solution, which limits the scalability of these approaches. To circumvent this combinatorial complexity, we develop a neural network which, based on an initial image of the scene, directly predicts promising discrete action sequences such that ideally only one motion planning problem has to be solved to find a solution to the overall TAMP problem. A key aspect is that our method generalizes to scenes with many and varying number of objects, although being trained on only two objects at a time. This is possible by encoding the objects of the scene in images as input to the neural network, instead of a fixed feature vector. Results show runtime improvements of several magnitudes. Video: https://youtu.be/i8yyEbbvoEk


Socially intelligent task and motion planning for human-robot interaction

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

As social beings, much human behavior is predicated on social context - the ambient social state that includes cultural norms, social signals, individual preferences, etc. In this paper, we propose a socially-aware task and motion planning algorithm that considers social context to generate appropriate and effective plans in human social environments (HSEs). The key strength of our proposed approach is that it explicitly models how potential actions not only affect objective cost, but also transform the social context in which it plans and acts. We investigate strategies to limit the complexity of our algorithm, so that our planner will remain tractable for mobile platforms in complex HSEs like hospitals and factories. The planner will also consider the relative importance and urgency of its tasks, which it uses to determine when it is and is not appropriate to violate social expectations to achieve its objective. This social awareness will allow robots to understand a fundamental rule of society: just because something makes your job easier, does not make it the right thing to do! To our knowledge, the proposed work is the first task and motion planning approach that supports socially intelligent robot policy for HSEs. Through this ongoing work, robots will be able to understand, respect, and leverage social context accomplish tasks both acceptably and effectively in HSEs.


Task-Motion Planning for Navigation in Belief Space

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Task-Motion Planning for Navigation in Belief Space Antony Thomas, Fulvio Mastrogiovanni, and Marco Baglietto Abstract We present an integrated Task-Motion Planning (TMP) framework for navigation in large-scale environment. Autonomous robots operating in real world complex scenarios require planning in the discrete (task) space and the continuous (motion) space. In knowledge intensive domains, on the one hand, a robot has to reason at the highest-level, for example the regions to navigate to; on the other hand, the feasibility of the respective navigation tasks have to be checked at the execution level. This presents a need for motion-planning-aware task planners. We discuss a probabilistically complete approach that leverages this task-motion interaction for navigating in indoor domains, returning a plan that is optimal at the task-level. Furthermore, our framework is intended for motion planning under motion and sensing uncertainty, which is formally known as belief space planning. The underlying methodology is validated with a simulated office environment in Gazebo. In addition, we discuss the limitations and provide suggestions for improvements and future work. 1 Introduction Autonomous robots operating in complex real world scenarios require different levels of planning to execute their tasks. High-level (task) planning helps break down a given set of tasks into a sequence of sub-tasks. Actual execution of each of these sub-tasks would require low-level control actions to generate appropriate robot motions. In fact, the dependency between logical and geometrical aspects is pervasive in both task planning and execution.


Task-assisted Motion Planning in Partially Observable Domains

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Antony Thomas and Sunny Amatya † and Fulvio Mastrogiovanni and Marco Baglietto Abstract -- We present an integrated T ask-Motion Planning framework for robot navigation in belief space. Autonomous robots operating in real world complex scenarios require planning in the discrete (task) space and the continuous (motion) space. T o this end, we propose a framework for integrating belief space reasoning within a hybrid task planner . The expressive power of PDDL combined with heuristic-driven semantic attachments performs the propagated and posterior belief estimates while planning. The underlying methodology for the development of the combined hybrid planner is discussed, providing suggestions for improvements and future work. I NTRODUCTION Autonomous robots operating in complex real world scenarios require different levels of planning to execute their tasks. High-level (task) planning helps break down a given set of tasks into a sequence of sub-tasks, actual execution of each of these sub-tasks would require low-level control actions to generate appropriate robot motions. In fact, the dependency between logical and geometrical aspects is pervasive in both task planning and execution. Hence, planning should be performed in the task-motion or the discrete-continuous space. In recent years, combining high-level task planning with low-level motion planning has been a subject of great interest among the Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) community.