Mixed Logical Inference and Probabilistic Planning for Robots in Unreliable Worlds

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Deployment of robots in practical domains poses key knowledge representation and reasoning challenges. Robots need to represent and reason with incomplete domain knowledge, acquiring and using sensor inputs based on need and availability. This paper presents an architecture that exploits the complementary strengths of declarative programming and probabilistic graphical models as a step toward addressing these challenges. Answer Set Prolog (ASP), a declarative language, is used to represent, and perform inference with, incomplete domain knowledge, including default information that holds in all but a few exceptional situations. A hierarchy of partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs) probabilistically models the uncertainty in sensor input processing and navigation. Nonmonotonic logical inference in ASP is used to generate a multinomial prior for probabilistic state estimation with the hierarchy of POMDPs. It is also used with historical data to construct a beta (meta) density model of priors for metareasoning and early termination of trials when appropriate. Robots equipped with this architecture automatically tailor sensor input processing and navigation to tasks at hand, revising existing knowledge using information extracted from sensor inputs. The architecture is empirically evaluated in simulation and on a mobile robot visually localizing objects in indoor domains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699 - 713
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Robotics
Issue number3
Early online date6 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2015


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