Visibility graphs for robot path planning is still in use!

Junlin Ou, Seong Hyeon Hong, Ge Song, Yi Wang, Hybrid path planning based on adaptive visibility graph initialization and edge computing for mobile robots, Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence, Volume 126, Part D, 2023 DOI: 10.1016/j.engappai.2023.107110.

This paper presents a new initialization method that combines adaptive visibility graphs and the A* algorithm to improve the exploration, accuracy, and computing efficiency of hybrid path planning for mobile robots. First, segments/links in the full visibility graphs are removed randomly in an iterative and adaptive manner, yielding adaptive visibility graphs. Then the A* algorithm is applied to find the shortest paths in these adaptive visibility graphs. Next, high-quality paths featuring low fitness values are chosen to initialize the subsequent heuristic optimization in hybrid path planning. Specifically, in the present study, the genetic algorithm (GA) is implemented on a CPU/GPU edge computing device (Jetson AGX Xavier) to exploit its massively parallel processing threads, and the strategy for judicious CPU/GPU resource utilization is also developed. Numerical experiments are conducted to determine proper hyperparameters and configure GA with balanced performance. Various optimal paths with differential consideration of practical factors for robot path planning are obtained by the proposed method. Compared to the other benchmark methods, ours significantly improves the diversity of initial path and exploration, optimization accuracy, and computing speed (within 5�s with most less than 2�s). Furthermore, real-time experiments are carried out to demonstrate the effectiveness and application of the proposed algorithm on mobile robots.

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