Improbability Filtering for Rejecting False Positives

In this paper we describe a novel approach, called improbability filtering, to rejecting false-positive observations from degrading the tracking performance of an Extended Kalman-Bucy filter. False-positives, incorrect observations reported with a high confidence, are a form of non-Gaussian white noise and therefore degrade the tracking performance of an Extended Kalman-Bucy Filter. Improbability filtering removes false-positives by rejecting low likelihood observations as determined by the model estimates. It offers a computationally fast and robust method for removing this form of white noise without the need for a more advanced filter. We describe an application of the improbability filter approach to Extendend Kalman-Bucy filters for tracking ten robots and a ball moving at speeds approaching 5 m.s-1 both accurately and reliably in real-time based on the observations of a single color camera. The environment is highly dynamic and non-linear, as exemplified by the motion of the ball which varies from free rolling under friction, to rolling up 45° inclined walls at the boundary, to being manipulated in unpredictable ways by a mechanical apparatus on each robot. The sensing apparatus, a camera and color blob tracking algorithms, suffers from the usual noise, latency, intermittency, as well as from false-positives caused by the misidentification of an observed object with a nonnegligible likelihood.

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