Robotics: Science and Systems VIII

Towards Persistent Localization and Mapping with a Continuous Appearance-based Topology

William Maddern, Michael Milford, Gordon Wyeth


Appearance-based localization can provide loop closure detection at vast scales regardless of accumulated metric error. However, the computation time and memory requirements of current appearance-based methods scale not only with the size of the environment but also with the operation time of the platform. Additionally, repeated visits to locations will develop multiple competing representations, which will reduce recall performance over time. These properties impose severe restrictions on long-term autonomy for mobile robots, as loop closure performance will inevitably degrade with increased operation time. In this paper we present a graphical extension to CAT-SLAM, a particle filter-based algorithm for appearance-based localization and mapping, to provide constant computation and memory requirements over time and minimal degradation of recall performance during repeated visits to locations. We demonstrate loop closure detection in a large urban environment with capped computation time and memory requirements and performance exceeding previous appearance-based methods by a factor of 2. We discuss the limitations of the algorithm with respect to environment size, appearance change over time and applications in topological planning and navigation for long-term robot operation.



    AUTHOR    = {William Maddern AND Michael Milford AND Gordon Wyeth}, 
    TITLE     = {Towards Persistent Localization and Mapping with a Continuous Appearance-based Topology}, 
    BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems}, 
    YEAR      = {2012}, 
    ADDRESS   = {Sydney, Australia}, 
    MONTH     = {July},
    DOI       = {10.15607/RSS.2012.VIII.036}