Guaranteed Globally Optimal Planar Pose Graph and Landmark SLAM via Sparse-Bounded Sums-of-Squares Programming
Published 2018-09-20Version 1
Autonomous navigation requires an accurate model or map of the environment. While dramatic progress in the prior two decades has enabled large-scale simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), the majority of existing methods rely on non-linear optimization techniques to find the maximum likelihood estimate (MLE) of the robot trajectory and surrounding environment. These methods are prone to local minima and are thus sensitive to initialization. Several recent papers have developed optimization algorithms for the Pose-Graph SLAM problem that can certify the optimality of a computed solution. Though this does not guarantee a priori that this approach generates an optimal solution, a recent extension has shown that when the noise lies within a critical threshold that the solution to the optimization algorithm is guaranteed to be optimal. To address the limitations of existing approaches, this paper illustrates that the Pose-Graph SLAM and Landmark SLAM can be formulated as polynomial optimization programs that are sum-of-squares (SOS) convex. This paper then describes how the Pose-Graph and Landmark SLAM problems can be solved to a global minimum without initialization regardless of noise level using the sparse bounded degree sum-of-squares (Sparse-BSOS) optimization method. Finally, the superior performance of the proposed approach when compared to existing SLAM methods is illustrated on graphs with several hundred nodes.