Modern sensors are able to rapidly change mode of operation and steer between physically separated objects. While control of such sensors over a rolling planning horizon can be formulated as a dynamic program, the optimal solution is inevitably intractable. In this paper, we consider the control problem under a restricted family of policies and show that the essential sensor control trade-offs are still captured. The advantage of this approach is that one can obtain the optimal policy within the restricted class in a tractable fashion, in this case by using the auction algorithm. The approach is well-suited for problems in which a single sensor (or group of sensors) is being used to track many targets using a heterogeneous sensor model, i.e., where the quality of observations varies with object state, such as due to obscuration. Our algorithm efficiently weighs the rewards achievable by observing each target at each time to find the best sensor plan within the restricted set. We extend this approach using a roll-out algorithm, to handle additional cases such as when observations take different amounts of time to complete.
The need to track closely-spaced targets in clutter is essential in support of military operations. This paper presents a Multiple Hypothesis Tracking (MHT) algorithm which uses an efficient structure to represent the dependency which naturally arises between targets due to the joint observation process, and an Integral Square Error (ISE) mixture reduction algorithm for hypothesis control. The resulting algorithm, denoted MHT with ISE Reduction (MISER), is tested against performance metrics including track life, coalescence and track swap. The results demonstrate track life performance similar to that of ISE-based methods in the single-target case, and a significant improvement in track swap metric due to the preservation of correlation between targets. The result that correlation reduces the track life performance for formation targets requires further investigation, although it appears to demonstrate that the inherent coupling of dynamics noises for such problems eliminates much of the benefit of representing correlation only due to the joint observation process.
The problem of tracking targets in clutter naturally leads to a Gaussian mixture representation of the probability density function of the target state vector. Modern tracking methods maintain the mean, covariance and probability weight corresponding to each hypothesis, yet they rely on simple merging and pruning rules to control the growth of hypotheses. This paper proposes a structured, cost-function-based approach to the hypothesis control problem, utilizing the Integral Square Error (ISE) cost measure. A comparison of track life performance versus computational cost is made between the ISE-based filter and previously proposed approximations including simple pruning, Singer's n-scan memory filter, Salmond's joining filter, and Chen and Liu's Mixture Kalman Filter (MKF). The results demonstrate that the ISE-based mixture reduction algorithm provides track life performance which is significantly better than the compared techniques using similar numbers of mixture components, and performance competitive with the compared algorithms for similar mean computation times.