Sensor Control for Information Gain in Dynamic, Sparse and Partially Observed Environments J. Brian Burns, Aravind Sundaresan, Pedro Sequeira, Vidyasagar Sadhu; ArXiv.org, arXiv:2211.01527, https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2211.01527
We present an approach for autonomous sensor control for information gathering under partially observable, dynamic and sparsely sampled environments. We consider the problem of controlling a sensor that makes partial observations in some space of interest such that it maximizes information about entities present in that space. We describe our approach for the task of Radio-Frequency (RF) spectrum monitoring, where the goal is to search for and track unknown, dynamic signals in the environment. To this end, we extend the Deep Anticipatory Network (DAN) Reinforcement Learning (RL) framework by (1) improving exploration in sparse, non-stationary environments using a novel information gain reward, and (2) scaling up the control space and enabling the monitoring of complex, dynamic activity patterns using hybrid convolutional-recurrent processing. We also extend this problem to situations in which taking samples from the intended RF spectrum/field is expensive and therefore limited, and propose a model-based version of the original RL algorithm that fine-tunes the controller using a model of the environment that is iteratively improved from limited samples taken from a simulated RF field. Results in simulated RF environments of differing complexity show that our system outperforms the standard DAN architecture and is more flexible and robust than baseline expert-designed agents. We also show that our approach is adaptable to non-stationary emission environments.