Combining Temporal Planning with Probabilistic Reasoning for Autonomous Surveillance Missions

Sara Bernardini, Maria Fox, Derek Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is particularly challenging to devise techniques for underpinning the behaviour of autonomous vehicles in surveillance missions as these vehicles operate in uncertain and unpredictable environments where they must cope with little stability and tight deadlines in spite of their restricted resources. State-of-the-art techniques typically use probabilistic algorithms that suffer a high computational cost in complex real-world scenarios. To overcome these limitations, we propose a hybrid approach that combines the probabilistic reasoning based on the target motion model offered by Monte Carlo simulation with long-term strategic capabilities provided by automated task planning. We demonstrate our approach by focusing on one particular surveillance mission, search-and-tracking, and by using two different vehicles, a fixed-wing UAV deployed in simulation and the “Parrot AR.Drone2.0” quadcopter deployed in a physical environment. Our experimental results show that our unique way of integrating probabilistic and deterministic reasoning pays off when we tackle realistic missions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181–203
Number of pages23
JournalAutonomous Robots
Early online date28 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

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