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27 May 2011 Efficient exchange of information in a distributed tracking environment
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Modern tracking and fusion settings involve multiple platforms in different locations, tracking different target tracks, focusing on different regions of interest, while using different update rates and sensor resolutions with the goal of providing increased situation awareness in the region by fusing together the diversity of information from each platform. In this paper, a decentralized, distributed fusion architecture is presented along with results and trade studies comparing performance to that of a centralized fusion architecture. The decentralized distributed architecture is designed to work with legacy tracking systems and uses an efficient message passing scheme to share information and coordinate tracks across a diverse group of platforms. This system does not rely on a central node and allows for track information to be maintained at the local level while utilizing track information from other platforms to increase situation awareness. We compare the performance between our distributed approach and a centralized system using simulated airborne sensors operating in overlapping regions of interest with target densities and routes chosen to demonstrate tradeoffs between the different architectures. Preliminary results show that the decentralized distributed system provides similar performance to the centralized fusion system in terms of situation awareness relative to traditional tracking metrics, but at the cost of using an increased communication bandwidth to provide frequent updates to neighboring platforms. Results demonstrate the tradeoff between flexibility and optimality - configuration of the distributed decentralized system to provide increased flexibility and robustness comes at the cost of reduced situation awareness as compared to the centralized system.
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Peter J. Shea and Eric Blake "Efficient exchange of information in a distributed tracking environment", Proc. SPIE 8050, Signal Processing, Sensor Fusion, and Target Recognition XX, 80500E (27 May 2011);

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