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Tracking highly maneuverable targets with unknown behavior


Tracking of highly maneuvering targets with unknown behavior is a difficult problem in sequential state estimation. The performance of predictive-model-based Bayesian state estimators deteriorates quickly when their models are no longer accurate or their process not. se is large. A data-driven approach to tracking, the segmenting track identifier (STI), is presented as an algorithm that operates well in environments where the measurement system is well understood but target motion is either or both highly unpredictable or poorly characterized. The STI achieves improved state estimates by the least-squares fitting of a motion model to a segment of data that has been partitioned from the total track such that it represents a single maneuver. Real-world STI tracking performance is demonstrated using sonar data collected from free-swimming fish, where the STI is shown to be effective at tracking highly maneuvering targets while relatively insensitive to its tuning parameters. Additionally, an extension of the STI to. allow its use in the most common multiple target and cluttered environment data association frameworks is presented, and an STI-based joint probabilistic data association filter (STIJPDAF) is derived as a specific example. The STIJPDAF is shown by simulation to be effective at tracking a single fish in clutter and through empirical results from video data to be effective at simultaneously tracking multiple free-swimming fish.

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