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Samuel Rodriguez, Shawna Thomas, Roger Pearce, Nancy M. Amato, "RESAMPL: A Region-Sensitive Adaptive Motion Planner," In Proc. Int. Wkshp. on Alg. Found. of Rob. (WAFR), pp. 285-300, New York City, NY, Jul 2006.
Proceedings(ps, pdf, abstract)

Automatic motion planning has applications ranging from traditional robotics to computer-aided design to computational bology and chemistry. While randomized planners, such as probabilistic roadmap methods (PRMs) or rapidly-exploring random trees (RRT), have been highly successful in solving many high degree of freedom problems, there are still many scenarios in which we need better methods, e.g., problems involving narrow passages or which contain multiple regions that are best suited to different planners. In this work, we present RESAMPL, a motion planning strategy that uses local region information to make intelligent decisions about how and where to sample, which samples to connect together, and to find paths through the environment. Briefly, RESAMPL classifies regions based on the entropy of the samples in it, and then uses these classifications to further refine the sampling. Regions are placed in a region graph that encodes relationships between regions, e.g., edges correspond to overlapping regions. The strategy for connecting samples is guided by the region graph, and can be exploited in both multi-query and single-query scenarios. Our experimental results comparing RESAMPL to previous multi-query and single-query methods show that RESAMPL is generally significantly faster and also usually requires fewer samples to solve the problem.