Probabilistic self-localisation on a qualitative map based on occlusions

Paulo E. Santos, Murilo F. Martins, Valquiria Fenelon, Fabio G. Cozman, Hannah M. Dee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Spatial knowledge plays an essential role in human reasoning, permitting tasks such as locating objects in the world (including oneself), reasoning about everyday actions and describing perceptual information. This is also the case in the field of mobile robotics, where one of the most basic (and essential) tasks is the autonomous determination of the pose of a robot with respect to a map, given its perception of the environment. This is the problem of robot self-localisation (or simply the localisation problem). This paper presents a probabilistic algorithm for robot self-localisation that is based on a topological map constructed from the observation of spatial occlusion. Distinct locations on the map are defined by means of a classical formalism for qualitative spatial reasoning, whose base definitions are closer to the human categorisation of space than traditional, numerical, localisation procedures. The approach herein proposed was systematically evaluated through experiments using a mobile robot equipped with a RGB-D sensor. The results obtained show that the localisation algorithm is successful in locating the robot in qualitatively distinct regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)781-799
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Markov localisation
  • perception of occlusion
  • Qualitative spatial reasoning


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