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25 July 2002 Image-based topology for sensor gridlocking and association
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Correlation engines have been evolving since the implementation of radar. In modern sensor fusion architectures, correlation and gridlock filtering are required to produce common, continuous, and unambiguous tracks of all objects in the surveillance area. The objective is to provide a unified picture of the theatre or area of interest to battlefield decision makers, ultimately enabling them to make better inferences for future action and eliminate fratricide by reducing ambiguities. Here, correlation refers to association, which in this context is track-to-track association. A related process, gridlock filtering or gridlocking, refers to the reduction in navigation errors and sensor misalignment errors so that one sensor's track data can be accurately transformed into another sensor's coordinate system. As platforms gain multiple sensors, the correlation and gridlocking of tracks become significantly more difficult. Much of the existing correlation technology revolves around various interpretations of the generalized Bayesian decision rule: choose the action that minimizes conditional risk. One implementation of this principle equates the risk minimization statement to the comparison of ratios of a priori probability distributions to thresholds. The binary decision problem phrased in terms of likelihood ratios is also known as the famed Neyman-Pearson hypothesis test. Using another restatement of the principle for a symmetric loss function, risk minimization leads to a decision that maximizes the a posteriori probability distribution. Even for deterministic decision rules, situations can arise in correlation where there are ambiguities. For these situations, a common algorithm used is a sparse assignment technique such as the Munkres or JVC algorithm. Furthermore, associated tracks may be combined with the hope of reducing the positional uncertainty of a target or object identified by an existing track from the information of several fused/correlated tracks. Gridlocking is typically accomplished with some type of least-squares algorithm, such as the Kalman filtering technique, which attempts to locate the best bias error vector estimate from a set of correlated/fused track pairs. Here, we will introduce a new approach to this longstanding problem by adapting many of the familiar concepts from pattern recognition, ones certainly familiar to target recognition applications. Furthermore, we will show how this technique can lend itself to specialized processing, such as that available through an optical or hybrid correlator.
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Clay J. Stanek, Bahram Javidi, and Philip Yanni "Image-based topology for sensor gridlocking and association", Proc. SPIE 4726, Automatic Target Recognition XII, (25 July 2002);

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