Faculty Advisor

Michael A. Gennert

Faculty Advisor

Eugene Eberbach

Faculty Advisor

William R. Michalson




"This work presents a novel method to efficiently factorize the combination of multiple factor graphs having common variables of estimation. The fast-paced innovation in the algebraic graph theory has enabled new tools of state estimation like factor graphs. Recent factor graph formulation for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) like Incremental Smoothing and Mapping using the Bayes tree (ISAM2) has been very successful and garnered much attention. Variable ordering, a well-known technique in linear algebra is employed for solving the factor graph. Our primary contribution in this work is to reuse the variable ordering of the graphs being combined to find the ordering of the fused graph. In the case of mapping, multiple robots provide a great advantage over single robot by providing a faster map coverage and better estimation quality. This coupled with an inevitable increase in the number of robots around us produce a demand for faster algorithms. For example, a city full of self-driving cars could pool their observation measurements rapidly to plan a traffic free navigation. By reusing the variable ordering of the parent graphs we were able to produce an order-of-magnitude difference in the time required for solving the fused graph. We also provide a formal verification to show that the proposed strategy does not violate any of the relevant standards. A common problem in multi-robot SLAM is relative pose graph initialization to produce a globally consistent map. The other contribution addresses this by minimizing a specially formulated error function as a part of solving the factor graph. The performance is illustrated on a publicly available SuiteSparse dataset and the multi-robot AP Hill dataset."


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Robotics Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





sam, isam, variable ordering, SLAM, multi-robot, graph SLAM, pose graph initialization, smoothing and mapping