K-robots clustering of moving sensors using coresets

Dan Feldman, Stephanie Gil, Ross A. Knepper, Brian Julian, Daniela Rus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


We present an approach to position k servers (e.g. mobile robots) to provide a service to n independently moving clients; for example, in mobile ad-hoc networking applications where inter-agent distances need to be minimized, connectivity constraints exist between servers, and no a priori knowledge of the clients' motion can be assumed. Our primary contribution is an algorithm to compute and maintain a small representative set, called a kinematic coreset, of the n moving clients.We prove that, in any given moment, the maximum distance between the clients and any set of k servers is approximated by the coreset up to a factor of (1 ± ε), where ε > 0 is an arbitrarily small constant. We prove that both the size of our coreset and its update time is polynomial in k log(n)/ε. Although our optimization problem is NP-hard (i.e., takes time exponential in the number of servers to solve), solving it on the small coreset instead of the original clients results in a tractable controller. The approach is validated in a small scale hardware experiment using robot servers and human clients, and in a large scale numerical simulation using thousands of clients.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2013
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2013 - Karlsruhe, Germany
Duration: 6 May 201310 May 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
ISSN (Print)1050-4729


Conference2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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