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Autonomous Vehicle Navigation Using Harmonic Functions via Modified Arithmetic Mean Iterative Method

Authors: Azali Saudi, Jumat Sulaiman


Harmonic functions are solutions to Laplace’s equation that are known to have an advantage as a global approach in providing the potential values for autonomous vehicle navigation. However, the computation for obtaining harmonic functions is often too slow particularly when it involves very large environment. This paper presents a two-stage iterative method namely Modified Arithmetic Mean (MAM) method for solving 2D Laplace’s equation. Once the harmonic functions are obtained, the standard Gradient Descent Search (GDS) is performed for path finding of an autonomous vehicle from arbitrary initial position to the specified goal position. Details of the MAM method are discussed. Several simulations of vehicle navigation with path planning in a static known indoor environment were conducted to verify the efficiency of the MAM method. The generated paths obtained from the simulations are presented. The performance of the MAM method in computing harmonic functions in 2D environment to solve path planning problem for an autonomous vehicle navigation is also provided.

Keywords: Modified Arithmetic Mean method, Harmonic functions, Laplace’s equation, path planning.

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