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Proceedings Paper

Step-by-step description of a computationally efficient version of multiple hypothesis tracking
Author(s): John R. Werthmann
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Paper Abstract

Under the recently completed Covert Air Combat Definition Study, a form of multiple hypothesis tracking, known as structured branching (SB/MHT), was developed and tested by Hughes Radar Systems Group. SB/MHT offers significant computational savings compared to other approaches, enabling it to maintain a great number of hypothesized tracks, initiated in high false alarm environments without overwhelming current generation tactical processors. Under the recently initiated Advanced Tracking Algorithms Program, the SB/MHT algorithm will be further developed and hosted on a tactical airborne processor to demonstrate realtime performance. This paper walks through the algorithm sequence of operations in order to give the reader an intuitive understanding of SB/MHT. The paper begins with a description of the basic idea of MHT algorithms; i.e., to carry hypotheses when there is doubt about which tracks to associate with new observations. The primary differences between SB/MHT and `classical' MHT are briefly discussed. Each operation in the SB/MHT block diagram is explained by stepping through the operations that would take place given an assumed set of tracks, and a set of observations to be processed. Operations to be discussed include: observation filtering and prediction, gate formation and observation-to-track association, track branching and initiation, initial track scoring and pruning, track clustering, hypothesis generation and scoring, and finally, global track scoring and pruning. Methods for controlling track-file growth and its resultant computational load are also discussed. Although high level in terms of the amount of detail covered, this description should provide the reader with a good understanding of the fundamental characteristics of a streamlined MHT algorithm envisioned to operate in real time on a current generation airborne tactical processor.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 August 1992
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 1698, Signal and Data Processing of Small Targets 1992, (25 August 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.139379
Show Author Affiliations
John R. Werthmann, Air Force Wright Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1698:
Signal and Data Processing of Small Targets 1992
Oliver E. Drummond, Editor(s)

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