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Exploiting Submodular Value Functions for Faster Dynamic Sensor Selection: Extended Version

Yash Satsangi‚ Shimon Whiteson and Frans Oliehoek


A key challenge in the design of multi-sensor systems is the efficient allocation of scarce resources such as bandwidth, CPU cycles, and energy, leading to the dynamic sensor selection problem in which a subset of the available sensors must be selected at each timestep. While partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs) provide a natural decision-theoretic model for this problem, the computational cost of POMDP planning grows exponentially in the number of sensors, making it feasible only for small problems. We propose a new POMDP planning method that uses greedy maximization to greatly improve scalability in the number of sensors. We show that, under certain conditions, the value function of a dynamic sensor selection POMDP is submodular and use this result to bound the error introduced by performing greedy maximization. Experimental results on a real-world dataset from a multi-camera tracking system in a shopping mall show it achieves similar performance to existing methods but incurs only a fraction of the computational cost, leading to much better scalability in the number of cameras.

University of Amsterdam‚ Informatics Institute
IAS− UVA−14−02