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Human vs. algorithmic path planning for search and rescue by robot teams

Chien, Shih-Yi and Wang, Huadong and Lewis, Michael (2011) Human vs. algorithmic path planning for search and rescue by robot teams. In: 54th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 27 September 2011 - 01 October 2011, San Francisco, California.

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Substantial automation will be needed to allow operators to control the large teams of robots envisioned for search and rescue, perimeter patrol, and a wide variety of military tasks. Both analysis and research point to navigation and path planning as prime candidates for automation. When operators are isolated from robot navigation, however, there may be loss of situation awareness (SA) and difficulties in monitoring robots for failures or abnormal behavior. Operator's navigational strategies are quite complex and extremely changeable at foraging tasks in unknown environment reflecting background knowledge and expectations about human and natural environments. These considerations are missing from automated path planning algorithms leading to differences in search patterns and exploration biases between human and automatically generated paths. Effectively integrating automated path planning into multirobot systems would require demonstrating that: 1-automated path planning performs as well as humans on measures such as area coverage and 2- use of automated path planning does not degrade performance of related human tasks such as finding and marking victims. In this paper we seek to compare the divergence between human manual control and autonomous path planning at an urban search and rescue (USAR) task using fractal analysis to characterize the paths generated by the two methods. Area coverage and human contributions to mixed-initiative planning are compared with fully automated path planning. Finally, the impact of automated planning on related victim identification and marking tasks is compared for automated paths and paths generated by previous participants.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Chien, Shih-Yi
Wang, Huadong
Lewis, Michael
Date: 2011
Date Type: Publication
Publisher: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Place of Publication: Los Angeles, California
Page Range: 379 - 383
Event Title: 54th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Event Dates: 27 September 2011 - 01 October 2011
Event Type: Conference
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1518/107118110794008769
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Information Sciences > Information Science
Refereed: Yes
Official URL:
Related URLs:
Funders: ONR(), AFOSR()
Other ID: 10.1518/107118110794008769 (DOI)
Additional Information: Access to the full text is subject to the publisher's access restrictions.
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2011 15:37
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2017 12:55


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