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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/15106

Title: Optimisation-based verification process of obstacle avoidance systems for unmanned vehicles
Authors: Thedchanamoorthy, Sivaranjini
Keywords: Robustness analysis
Collision avoidance
Potential field method
Monte Carlo simulation
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: © Sivaranjini Thedchanamoorthy
Abstract: This thesis deals with safety verification analysis of collision avoidance systems for unmanned vehicles. The safety of the vehicle is dependent on collision avoidance algorithms and associated control laws, and it must be proven that the collision avoidance algorithms and controllers are functioning correctly in all nominal conditions, various failure conditions and in the presence of possible variations in the vehicle and operational environment. The current widely used exhaustive search based approaches are not suitable for safety analysis of autonomous vehicles due to the large number of possible variations and the complexity of algorithms and the systems. To address this topic, a new optimisation-based verification method is developed to verify the safety of collision avoidance systems. The proposed verification method formulates the worst case analysis problem arising the verification of collision avoidance systems into an optimisation problem and employs optimisation algorithms to automatically search the worst cases. Minimum distance to the obstacle during the collision avoidance manoeuvre is defined as the objective function of the optimisation problem, and realistic simulation consisting of the detailed vehicle dynamics, the operational environment, the collision avoidance algorithm and low level control laws is embedded in the optimisation process. This enables the verification process to take into account the parameters variations in the vehicle, the change of the environment, the uncertainties in sensors, and in particular the mismatching between model used for developing the collision avoidance algorithms and the real vehicle. It is shown that the resultant simulation based optimisation problem is non-convex and there might be many local optima. To illustrate and investigate the proposed optimisation based verification process, the potential field method and decision making collision avoidance method are chosen as an obstacle avoidance candidate technique for verification study. Five benchmark case studies are investigated in this thesis: static obstacle avoidance system of a simple unicycle robot, moving obstacle avoidance system for a Pioneer 3DX robot, and a 6 Degrees of Freedom fixed wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle with static and moving collision avoidance algorithms. It is proven that although a local optimisation method for nonlinear optimisation is quite efficient, it is not able to find the most dangerous situation. Results in this thesis show that, among all the global optimisation methods that have been investigated, the DIviding RECTangle method provides most promising performance for verification of collision avoidance functions in terms of guaranteed capability in searching worst scenarios.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/15106
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering)

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