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Proceedings Paper

A tracker adjunct processing system for reconsideration of firm tracker decisions
Author(s): David J. Trawick; Benjamin J. Slocumb; Randy C. Paffenroth
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Paper Abstract

Most modern maximum likelihood multiple target tracking systems (e.g., Multiple Hypothesis Tracking (MHT) and Numerica's Multiple Frame Assignment (MFA)) need to determine how to separate their input measurements into subsets corresponding to the observations of individual targets. These observation sets form the tracks of the system, and the process of determining these sets is known as data association. Real-time constraints frequently force the use of only the maximum likelihood choice for data association (over some time window), although alternative data association choices may have been considered in the process of choosing the most likely. This paper presents a Tracker Adjunct Processing (TAP) system that captures and manages the uncertainty encountered in making data association decisions. The TAP combines input observation data and the data association alternatives considered by the tracker into a dynamic Bayesian network (DBN). The network efficiently represents the combined alternative tracking hypotheses. Bayesian network evidence propagation methods are used to update the network in light of new evidence, which may consist of new observations, new alternative data associations, newly received late observations, hypothetical connections, or other flexible queries. The maximum likelihood tracking hypothesis can then be redetermined, which may result in changes to the best tracking hypothesis. The recommended changes can then be communicated back to the associated tracking system, which can then update its tracks. In this manner, the TAP's interpretation makes the firm, fixed (formerly maximum likelihood) decisions of the tracker "softer," i.e., less absolute. The TAP can also assess (and reassess) track purity regions by ambiguity level. We illustrate the working of the TAP with several examples, one in particular showing the incorporation of critical, late or infrequent data. These data are critical in the sense that they are very valuable in resolving ambiguities in tracking and combat identification; thus, the motivation to use these data is high even though there are complexities in applying it. Some data may be late because of significant network delays, while other data may be infrequently reported because they come from "specialized" sensors that provide updates only every once in a while.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 April 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7698, Signal and Data Processing of Small Targets 2010, 76980N (15 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.852461
Show Author Affiliations
David J. Trawick, Numerica Corp. (United States)
Benjamin J. Slocumb, Numerica Corp. (United States)
Randy C. Paffenroth, Numerica Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7698:
Signal and Data Processing of Small Targets 2010
Oliver E. Drummond, Editor(s)

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