NF-iSAM: Incremental Smoothing and Mapping via Normalizing Flows

05/11/2021
by   Qiangqiang Huang, et al.
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This paper presents a novel non-Gaussian inference algorithm, Normalizing Flow iSAM (NF-iSAM), for solving SLAM problems with non-Gaussian factors and/or non-linear measurement models. NF-iSAM exploits the expressive power of neural networks, and trains normalizing flows to draw samples from the joint posterior of non-Gaussian factor graphs. By leveraging the Bayes tree, NF-iSAM is able to exploit the sparsity structure of SLAM, thus enabling efficient incremental updates similar to iSAM2, albeit in the more challenging non-Gaussian setting. We demonstrate the performance of NF-iSAM and compare it against the state-of-the-art algorithms such as iSAM2 (Gaussian) and mm-iSAM (non-Gaussian) in synthetic and real range-only SLAM datasets.

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