Collaborative Semantic Data Fusion with Dynamically Observable Decision Processes


This work presents novel techniques for tightly integrated online information fusion and planning in human-autonomy teams operating in partially known environments. Motivated by dynamic target search problems, we present a new map-based sketch interface for online soft-hard data fusion. This interface lets human collaborators efficiently update map information and continuously build their own highly flexible ad hoc dictionaries for making language-based semantic observations, which can be actively exploited by autonomous agents in optimal search and information gathering problems. We formally link these capabilities to POMDP algorithms for optimal planning under uncertainty, and develop a new Dynamically Observable Monte Carlo planning (DOMCP) algorithm as an efficient means for updating online sampling-based planning policies for POMDPs with non-static observation models. DOMCP is validated on a small scale robot localization problem, and then demonstrated with our new user interface on a simulated dynamic target search scenario in a partially known outdoor environment.