AAAI Publications, Third Annual Symposium on Combinatorial Search

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Search-Based Path Planning with Homotopy Class Constraints
Subhrajit Bhattacharya, Vijay Kumar, Maxim Likhachev

Last modified: 2010-08-25

Abstract


Goal-directed path planning is one of the basic and widely studied problems in the field of mobile robotics. Homotopy classes of trajectories, arising due to the presence of obstacles, are defined as sets of trajectories that can be transformed into each other by gradual bending and stretching without colliding with obstacles. The problem of finding least-cost paths restricted to a specific homotopy class or finding least-cost paths that do not belong to certain homotopy classes arises frequently in such applications as predicting paths for dynamic entities and computing heuristics for path planning with dynamic constraints. In the present work, we develop a compact way of representing homotopy classes and propose an efficient method of graph search-based optimal path planning with constraints on homotopy classes. The method is based on representing the environment of the robot as a complex plane and making use of the Cauchy Integral Theorem. We prove optimality of the method and show its efficiency experimentally.

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