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Robust execution of robot task-plans: a knowledge-based approach
Örebro University, Department of Technology.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Autonomous mobile robots are being developed with the aim of accomplishing complex tasks in different environments, including human habitats as well as less friendly places, such as distant planets and underwater regions. A major challenge faced by such robots is to make sure that their actions are executed correctly and reliably, despite the dynamics and the uncertainty inherent in their working space. This thesis is concerned with the ability of a mobile robot to reliably monitor the execution of its plans and detect failures.

Existing approaches for monitoring the execution of plans rely mainly on checking the explicit effects of plan actions, i.e., effects encoded in the action model. This supposedly means that the effects to monitor are directly observable, but that is not always the case in a real-world environment. In this thesis, we propose to use semantic domain-knowledge to derive and monitor implicit expectations about the effects of actions. For instance, a robot entering a room asserted to be an office should expect to see at least a desk, a chair, and possibly a PC. These expectations are derived from knowledge about the type of the room the robot is entering. If the robot enters a kitchen instead, then it should expect to see an oven, a sink, etc.

The major contributions of this thesis are as follows.

• We define the notion of Semantic Knowledge-based Execution Monitoring SKEMon, and we propose a general algorithm for it based on the use of description logics for representing knowledge.

• We develop a probabilistic approach of semantic Knowledge-based execution monitoring to take into account uncertainty in both acting and sensing. Specifically, we allow for sensing to be unreliable and for action models to have more than one possible outcome. We also take into consideration uncertainty about the state of the world. This development is essential to the applicability of our technique, since uncertainty is a pervasive feature in robotics.

• We present a general schema to deal with situations where perceptual information relevant to SKEMon is missing. The schema includes steps for modeling and generating a course of action to actively collect such information. We describe approaches based on planning and greedy action selection to generate the information-gathering solutions. The thesis also shows how such a schema can be applied to respond to failures occurring before or while an action is executed. The failures we address are ambiguous situations that arise when the robot attempts to anchor symbolic descriptions (relevant to a plan action) in perceptual information. The work reported in this thesis has been tested and verified using a mobile robot navigating in an indoor environment. In addition, simulation experiments were conducted to evaluate the performance of SKEMon using known metrics. The results show that using semantic knowledge can lead to high performance in monitoring the execution of robot plans.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet , 2008. , p. 175
Series
Örebro Studies in Technology, ISSN 1650-8580 ; 32
Keywords [en]
Autonomous mobile robots, plan execution and monitoring, semantic knowledge, cognitive robotics.
National Category
Computer Sciences
Research subject
Computer and Systems Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-2445ISBN: 978-91-7668-610-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-2445DiVA, id: diva2:136255
Public defence
2008-09-30, Hörsal T,, Örebro universitet, ÖREBRO, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-02-24 Created: 2008-10-15 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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Bouguerra, Abdelbaki

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CiteExportLink to record
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