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This paper investigates the task-driven exploration of unknown environments with mobile sensors communicating compressed measurements. The sensors explore the area and transmit their compressed data to another robot, assisting it in reaching a goal location. We propose a novel communication framework and a tractable multi-agent exploration algorithm to select the sensors' actions. The algorithm uses a task-driven measure of uncertainty, resulting from map compression, as a reward function. We validate the efficacy of our algorithm through numerical simulations conducted on a realistic map and compare it with two alternative approaches. The results indicate that the proposed algorithm effectively decreases the time required for the robot to reach its target without causing excessive load on the communication network.

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This paper addresses the problem of the communication of optimally compressed information for mobile robot path-planning. In this context, mobile robots compress their current local maps to assist another robot in reaching a target in an unknown environment. We propose a framework that sequentially selects the optimal compression, guided by the robot's path, by balancing the map resolution and communication cost. Our approach is tractable in close-to-real scenarios and does not necessitate prior environment knowledge. We design a novel decoder that leverages compressed information to estimate the unknown environment via convex optimization with linear constraints and an encoder that utilizes the decoder to select the optimal compression. Numerical simulations are conducted in a large close-to-real map and a maze map and compared with two alternative approaches. The results confirm the effectiveness of our framework in assisting the robot reach its target by reducing transmitted information, on average, by approximately 50% while maintaining satisfactory performance.

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We consider a variant of pursuit-evasion games where a single defender is tasked to defend a static target from a sequence of periodically arriving intruders. The intruders' objective is to breach the boundary of a circular target without being captured and the defender's objective is to capture as many intruders as possible. At the beginning of each period, a new intruder appears at a random location on the perimeter of a fixed circle surrounding the target and moves radially towards the target center to breach the target. The intruders are slower in speed compared to the defender and they have their own sensing footprint through which they can perfectly detect the defender if it is within their sensing range. Considering the speed and sensing limitations of the agents, we analyze the entire game by dividing it into partial information and full information phases. We address the defender's capturability using the notions of engagement surface and capture circle. We develop and analyze three efficient strategies for the defender and derive a lower bound on the capture fraction. Finally, we conduct a series of simulations and numerical experiments to compare and contrast the three proposed approaches.

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This paper investigates the problem of planning a minimum-length tour for a three-dimensional Dubins airplane model to visually inspect a series of targets located on the ground or exterior surface of objects in an urban environment. Objects are 2.5D extruded polygons representing buildings or other structures. A visibility volume defines the set of admissible (occlusion-free) viewing locations for each target that satisfy feasible airspace and imaging constraints. The Dubins traveling salesperson problem with neighborhoods (DTSPN) is extended to three dimensions with visibility volumes that are approximated by triangular meshes. Four sampling algorithms are proposed for sampling vehicle configurations within each visibility volume to define vertices of the underlying DTSPN. Additionally, a heuristic approach is proposed to improve computation time by approximating edge costs of the 3D Dubins airplane with a lower bound that is used to solve for a sequence of viewing locations. The viewing locations are then assigned pitch and heading angles based on their relative geometry. The proposed sampling methods and heuristics are compared through a Monte-Carlo experiment that simulates view planning tours over a realistic urban environment.

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We consider a variant of the target defense problem where a single defender is tasked to capture a sequence of incoming intruders. The intruders' objective is to breach the target boundary without being captured by the defender. As soon as the current intruder breaches the target or gets captured by the defender, the next intruder appears at a random location on a fixed circle surrounding the target. Therefore, the defender's final location at the end of the current game becomes its initial location for the next game. Thus, the players pick strategies that are advantageous for the current as well as for the future games. Depending on the information available to the players, each game is divided into two phases: partial information and full information phase. Under some assumptions on the sensing and speed capabilities, we analyze the agents' strategies in both phases. We derive equilibrium strategies for both the players to optimize the capture percentage using the notions of engagement surface and capture circle. We quantify the percentage of capture for both finite and infinite sequences of incoming intruders.

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In this chapter, an integer linear programming formulation for the problem of obtaining task-relevant, multi-resolution, environment abstractions for resource-constrained autonomous agents is presented. The formulation leverages concepts from information-theoretic signal compression, specifically, the information bottleneck (IB) method, to pose an abstraction problem as an optimal encoder search over the space of multi-resolution trees. The abstractions emerge in a task-relevant manner as a function of agent information-processing constraints. We detail our formulation, and show how hierarchical tree structures, signal encoders, and information-theoretic methods for signal compression can be unified under a common theme. A discussion delineating the benefits and drawbacks of our formulation is presented, as well as a detailed explanation how our approach can be interpreted within the context of generating abstractions for resource-constrained autonomous systems. It is shown that the resulting information-theoretic abstraction problem over the space of multi-resolution trees can be formulated as a integer linear programming (ILP) problem. We demonstrate the approach on a number of examples, and provide a discussion detailing the differences of the proposed framework compared to existing methods. Lastly, we consider a linear program relaxation of the ILP problem, thereby demonstrating that multi-resolution information-theoretic tree abstractions can be obtained by solving a convex program.

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In this paper, a mixed-integer linear programming formulation for the problem of obtaining task-relevant, multi-resolution, graph abstractions for resource-constrained agents is presented. The formulation leverages concepts from information-theoretic signal compression, specifically the information bottleneck (IB) method, to pose a graph abstraction problem as an optimal encoder search over the space of multi-resolution trees. The abstractions emerge in a task-relevant manner as a function of agent information-processing constraints, and are not provided to the system a priori. We detail our formulation and show how the problem can be realized as an integer linear program. A non-trivial numerical example is presented to demonstrate the utility in employing our approach to obtain hierarchical tree abstractions for resource-limited agents.

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In this paper, we develop a framework for path-planning on abstractions that are not provided to the system a-priori but instead emerge as a function of the agent's available computational resources. We show how a path-planning problem in an environment can be systematically approximated by solving a sequence of easier to solve problems on abstractions of the original space. The properties of the problem are analyzed, and supporting theoretical results presented and discussed. A numerical example is presented to show the utility of the approach and to corroborate the theoretical findings. We conclude by providing a discussion of the results and their interpretation relating to anytime algorithms and bounded rationality.

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In this paper, we develop a framework to obtain graph abstractions for decision-making by an agent where the abstractions emerge as a function of the agent's limited computational resources. We discuss the connection of the proposed approach with information-theoretic signal compression, and formulate a novel optimization problem to obtain tree-based abstractions as a function of the agent's computational resources. The structural properties of the new problem are discussed in detail, and two algorithmic approaches are proposed to obtain solutions to this optimization problem. We discuss the quality of, and prove relationships between, solutions obtained by the two proposed algorithms. The framework is demonstrated to generate a hierarchy of abstractions for a non-trivial environment.

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In this work, we propose an event-triggered con- trol framework for dynamical systems with temporal logical constraints. Event-triggered control methodologies have proven to be very efficient in reducing sensing, communication and computation costs. When a continuous feedback control is re- placed with an event-triggered strategy, the corresponding state trajectories also differ. In a system with logical constraints, such small deviation in the trajectory might lead to unsatisfiability of the logical constraints. In this work, we develop an approach where we ensure that the event-triggered state trajectory is confined within an tube of the ideal trajectory associated with the continuous state feedback. At the same time, we will ensure satisfiability of the logical constraints as well. Furthermore, we show that the proposed method works for delayed systems as long as the delay is bounded by a certain quantity.

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