Talk by Yash Satsangi

You are all cordially invited to the AMLab colloquium today, April 19 at 16:00 in C3.163, where Yash Satsangi will give a talk titled “Exploiting Submodular Value Functions for Scaling Up Active Perception“. Afterwards there are drinks and snacks!

Abstract: In active perception tasks, an agent aims to select sensory actions that reduce its uncertainty about one or more hidden variables. For example, a mobile robot takes sensory actions to efficiently navigate in a new environment. While partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs) provide a natural model for such problems, as the number of sensors available to the agent grows, the computational cost of POMDP planning grows exponentially with it, making POMDP planning infeasible with traditional methods. We propose greedy point-based value iteration (PBVI), a new POMDP planning method that uses greedy maximization to greatly improve scalability in the action space of an active perception POMDP. Furthermore, we show that, under certain conditions, including submodularity, the value function computed using greedy PBVI is guaranteed to have bounded error with respect to the optimal value function. We establish the conditions under which the value function of an active perception POMDP is guaranteed to be submodular. Finally, we present a detailed empirical analysis on a dataset collected from a multi-camera tracking system employed in a shopping mall. Our method achieves similar performance to existing methods but at a fraction of the computational cost leading to better scalability for solving active perception tasks.