Incremental Sparse GP Regression for Continuous-time Trajectory Estimation & Mapping
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Recent work on simultaneous trajectory estimation and mapping (STEAM) for mobile robots has found success by representing the trajectory as a Gaussian process. Gaussian processes can represent a continuous-time trajectory, elegantly handle asynchronous and sparse measurements, and allow the robot to query the trajectory to recover its estimated position at any time of interest. A major drawback of this approach is that STEAM is formulated as a batch estimation problem. In this paper we provide the critical extensions necessary to transform the existing batch algorithm into an extremely efficient incremental algorithm. In particular, we are able to vastly speed up the solution time through efficient variable reordering and incremental sparse updates, which we believe will greatly increase the practicality of Gaussian process methods for robot mapping and localization. Finally, we demonstrate the approach and its advantages on both synthetic and real datasets.