Academic Appointments

  • Research Engineer, Aeronautics and Astronautics

2021-22 Courses

All Publications

  • Fast marching tree: A fast marching sampling-based method for optimal motion planning in many dimensions INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ROBOTICS RESEARCH Janson, L., Schmerling, E., Clark, A., Pavone, M. 2015; 34 (7): 883-921


    In this paper we present a novel probabilistic sampling-based motion planning algorithm called the Fast Marching Tree algorithm (FMT*). The algorithm is specifically aimed at solving complex motion planning problems in high-dimensional configuration spaces. This algorithm is proven to be asymptotically optimal and is shown to converge to an optimal solution faster than its state-of-the-art counterparts, chiefly PRM* and RRT*. The FMT* algorithm performs a "lazy" dynamic programming recursion on a predetermined number of probabilistically-drawn samples to grow a tree of paths, which moves steadily outward in cost-to-arrive space. As such, this algorithm combines features of both single-query algorithms (chiefly RRT) and multiple-query algorithms (chiefly PRM), and is reminiscent of the Fast Marching Method for the solution of Eikonal equations. As a departure from previous analysis approaches that are based on the notion of almost sure convergence, the FMT* algorithm is analyzed under the notion of convergence in probability: the extra mathematical flexibility of this approach allows for convergence rate bounds-the first in the field of optimal sampling-based motion planning. Specifically, for a certain selection of tuning parameters and configuration spaces, we obtain a convergence rate bound of order O(n-1/d+ρ), where n is the number of sampled points, d is the dimension of the configuration space, and ρ is an arbitrarily small constant. We go on to demonstrate asymptotic optimality for a number of variations on FMT*, namely when the configuration space is sampled non-uniformly, when the cost is not arc length, and when connections are made based on the number of nearest neighbors instead of a fixed connection radius. Numerical experiments over a range of dimensions and obstacle configurations confirm our the-oretical and heuristic arguments by showing that FMT*, for a given execution time, returns substantially better solutions than either PRM* or RRT*, especially in high-dimensional configuration spaces and in scenarios where collision-checking is expensive.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0278364915577958

    View details for Web of Science ID 000355612400004

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4798023