S. Koenig and R.G. Simmons. Unsupervised Learning of Probabilistic Models for Robot Navigation. In International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), pages 2301-2308, 1996.

Abstract: Navigation methods for office delivery robots need to take various sources of uncertainty into account in order to get robust performance. In previous work, we developed a reliable navigation technique that uses partially observable Markov models to represent metric, actuator, and sensor uncertainties. This paper describes an algorithm that adjusts the probabilities of the initial Markov model by passively observing the robot's interactions with its environment. The learned probabilities more accurately reflect the actual uncertainties in the environment, which ultimately leads to improved navigation performance. The algorithm, an extension of the Baum-Welch algorithm, learns without a teacher and addresses the issues of limited memory and the cost of collecting training data. Empirical results show that the algorithm learns good Markov models with a small amount of training data.

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