Sertac Karaman

Sertac Karaman
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Sertac Karaman

Pubs By Year

Pub Categories

Computer Science - Robotics (13)
Mathematics - Optimization and Control (3)
Mathematics - Functional Analysis (1)
Physics - Atomic Physics (1)
Mathematics - Dynamical Systems (1)
Mathematics - Probability (1)
Mathematics - Numerical Analysis (1)
Computer Science - Artificial Intelligence (1)
Computer Science - Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (1)
Computer Science - Information Theory (1)
Mathematics - Information Theory (1)
Computer Science - Data Structures and Algorithms (1)

Publications Authored By Sertac Karaman

Localization is an essential component for autonomous robots. A well-established localization approach combines ray casting with a particle filter, leading to a computationally expensive algorithm that is difficult to run on resource-constrained mobile robots. We present a novel data structure called the Compressed Directional Distance Transform for accelerating ray casting in two dimensional occupancy grid maps. Read More

We consider a robotic vehicle tasked with gathering information by visiting a set of spatially-distributed data sources, the locations of which are not known a priori, but are discovered on the fly. We assume a first-order robot dynamics involving drift and that the locations of the data sources are Poisson-distributed. In this setting, we characterize the performance of the robot in terms of its sensing, agility, and computation capabilities. Read More

We consider the case in which a robot has to navigate in an unknown environment, but does not have enough on-board power or payload to carry a traditional depth sensor (e.g., a 3D lidar) and thus can only acquire a few (point- wise) depth measurements. Read More

We study broadcast capacity and minimum delay scaling laws for highly mobile wireless networks, in which each node has to disseminate or broadcast packets to all other nodes in the network. In particular, we consider a cell partitioned network under the simplified independent and identically distributed (IID) mobility model, in which each node chooses a new cell at random every time slot. We derive scaling laws for broadcast capacity and minimum delay as a function of the cell size. Read More

Motion planning and control problems are embedded and essential in almost all robotics applications. These problems are often formulated as stochastic optimal control problems and solved using dynamic programming algorithms. Unfortunately, most existing algorithms that guarantee convergence to optimal solutions suffer from the curse of dimensionality: the run time of the algorithm grows exponentially with the dimension of the state space of the system. Read More

Visual attention is the cognitive process that allows humans to parse a large amount of sensory data by selecting relevant information and filtering out irrelevant stimuli. This papers develops a computational framework for visual attention in robots. We consider a Visual Inertial Navigation (VIN) problem in which a robot needs to estimate its state using an on-board camera and an inertial sensor. Read More

The rapid development of autonomous vehicles spurred a careful investigation of the potential benefits of all-autonomous transportation networks. Most studies conclude that autonomous systems can enable drastic improvements in performance. A widely studied concept is all-autonomous, collision-free intersections, where vehicles arriving in a traffic intersection with no traffic light adjust their speeds to cross safely through the intersection as quickly as possible. Read More

We describe a new function approximation framework based on a continuous extension of the tensor-train decomposition. The approximation, termed a function-train (FT), results in a tensor-train structure whose cores are univariate functions. An advantage of the FT over discrete approaches is that it produces an adaptive approximation of tensor fibers that is not tied to any tensorized discretization procedure; indeed, the algorithm can be coupled with any univariate linear or nonlinear approximation procedure. Read More

We introduce and study the problem in which a mobile sensing robot (our tourist) is tasked to travel among and gather intelligence at a set of spatially distributed point-of-interests (POIs). The quality of the information collected at each POI is characterized by some non-decreasing reward function over the time spent at the POI. With limited time budget, the robot must balance between spending time traveling to POIs and spending time at POIs for information collection (sensing) so as to maximize the total reward. Read More

This paper introduces a new mobile sensor scheduling problem, involving a single robot tasked with monitoring several events of interest that occur at different locations. Of particular interest is the monitoring of transient events that can not be easily forecast. Application areas range from natural phenomena ({\em e. Read More

This paper studies a class of approach-evasion differential games, in which one player aims to steer the state of a dynamic system to the given target set in minimum time, while avoiding some set of disallowed states, and the other player desires to achieve the opposite. We propose a class of novel anytime computation algorithms, analyze their convergence properties and verify their performance via a number of numerical simulations. Our algorithms significantly outperform the multi-grid method for the approach-evasion differential games both theoretically and numerically. Read More

This paper studies the problem of control strategy synthesis for dynamical systems with differential constraints to fulfill a given reachability goal while satisfying a set of safety rules. Particular attention is devoted to goals that become feasible only if a subset of the safety rules are violated. The proposed algorithm computes a control law, that minimizes the level of unsafety while the desired goal is guaranteed to be reached. Read More

We consider the problem of automatic generation of control strategies for robotic vehicles given a set of high-level mission specifications, such as "Vehicle x must eventually visit a target region and then return to a base," "Regions A and B must be periodically surveyed," or "None of the vehicles can enter an unsafe region." We focus on instances when all of the given specifications cannot be reached simultaneously due to their incompatibility and/or environmental constraints. We aim to find the least-violating control strategy while considering different priorities of satisfying different parts of the mission. Read More

A new approach, called Adaptive Q-control, for tapping-mode Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is introduced and implemented on a home-made AFM set-up utilizing a Laser Doppler Vibrometer (LDV) and a piezo-actuated bimorph probe. In the standard Q-control, the effective Q-factor of the scanning probe is adjusted prior to the scanning depending on the application. However, there is a trade-off in setting the effective Q-factor of an AFM probe. Read More

In this paper, we consider a class of continuous-time, continuous-space stochastic optimal control problems. Building upon recent advances in Markov chain approximation methods and sampling-based algorithms for deterministic path planning, we propose a novel algorithm called the incremental Markov Decision Process (iMDP) to compute incrementally control policies that approximate arbitrarily well an optimal policy in terms of the expected cost. The main idea behind the algorithm is to generate a sequence of finite discretizations of the original problem through random sampling of the state space. Read More

Inspired by birds flying through cluttered environments such as dense forests, this paper studies the theoretical foundations of a novel motion planning problem: high-speed navigation through a randomly-generated obstacle field when only the statistics of the obstacle generating process are known a priori. Resembling a planar forest environment, the obstacle generating process is assumed to determine the locations and sizes of disk-shaped obstacles. When this process is ergodic, and under mild technical conditions on the dynamics of the bird, it is shown that the existence of an infinite collision-free trajectory through the forest exhibits a phase transition. Read More

During the last decade, sampling-based path planning algorithms, such as Probabilistic RoadMaps (PRM) and Rapidly-exploring Random Trees (RRT), have been shown to work well in practice and possess theoretical guarantees such as probabilistic completeness. However, little effort has been devoted to the formal analysis of the quality of the solution returned by such algorithms, e.g. Read More

During the last decade, incremental sampling-based motion planning algorithms, such as the Rapidly-exploring Random Trees (RRTs) have been shown to work well in practice and to possess theoretical guarantees such as probabilistic completeness. However, no theoretical bounds on the quality of the solution obtained by these algorithms have been established so far. The first contribution of this paper is a negative result: it is proven that, under mild technical conditions, the cost of the best path in the RRT converges almost surely to a non-optimal value. Read More