Generic Factor-Based Node Removal: Enabling Long-Term SLAM

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“Generic Factor-Based Node Removal: Enabling Long-Term SLAM” by N. Carlevaris-Bianco, M. Kaess, and R.M. Eustice. IEEE Trans. on Robotics, TRO, vol. 30, no. 6, Dec. 2014, pp. 1371-1385.


This paper reports on a generic factor-based method for node removal in factor-graph simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), which we call generic linear constraints (GLCs). The need for a generic node removal tool is motivated by long-term SLAM applications, whereby nodes are removed in order to control the computational cost of graph optimization. GLC is able to produce a new set of linearized factors over the elimination clique that can represent either the true marginalization (i.e., dense GLC) or a sparse approximation of the true marginalization using a Chow-Liu tree (i.e., sparse GLC). The proposed algorithm improves upon commonly used methods in two key ways: First, it is not limited to graphs with strictly full-state relative-pose factors and works equally well with other low-rank factors, such as those produced by monocular vision. Second, the new factors are produced in such a way that accounts for measurement correlation, which is a problem encountered in other methods that rely strictly upon pairwise measurement composition. We evaluate the proposed method over multiple real-world SLAM graphs and show that it outperforms other recently proposed methods in terms of Kullback–Leibler divergence. Additionally, we experimentally demonstrate that the proposed GLC method provides a principled and flexible tool to control the computational complexity of long-term graph SLAM, with results shown for 34.9 h of real-world indoor–outdoor data covering 147.4 km collected over 27 mapping sessions spanning a period of 15 months.

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BibTeX entry:

   author = {N. Carlevaris-Bianco and M. Kaess and R.M. Eustice},
   title = {Generic Factor-Based Node Removal: Enabling Long-Term {SLAM}},
   journal = {IEEE Trans. on Robotics, TRO},
   volume = {30},
   number = {6},
   pages = {1371-1385},
   month = dec,
   year = {2014}
Last updated: March 21, 2023