#### Elimelech K, Indelman V. **Simplified decision making in the belief space using belief sparsification. ** The International Journal of Robotics Research. 2022;41(5):470-496 DOI: 10.1177/02783649221076381.

In this work, we introduce a new and efficient solution approach for the problem of decision making under uncertainty, which can be formulated as decision making in a belief space, over a possibly high-dimensional state space. Typically, to solve a decision problem, one should identify the optimal action from a set of candidates, according to some objective. We claim that one can often generate and solve an analogous yet simplified decision problem, which can be solved more efficiently. A wise simplification method can lead to the same action selection, or one for which the maximal loss in optimality can be guaranteed. Furthermore, such simplification is separated from the state inference and does not compromise its accuracy, as the selected action would finally be applied on the original state. First, we present the concept for general decision problems and provide a theoretical framework for a coherent formulation of the approach. We then practically apply these ideas to decision problems in the belief space, which can be simplified by considering a sparse approximation of their initial belief. The scalable belief sparsification algorithm we provide is able to yield solutions which are guaranteed to be consistent with the original problem. We demonstrate the benefits of the approach in the solution of a realistic active-SLAM problem and manage to significantly reduce computation time, with no loss in the quality of solution. This work is both fundamental and practical and holds numerous possible extensions.