Bernstein Polynomial-Based Method for Solving Optimal Trajectory Generation Problems

Kielas-Jensen, Calvin
Cichella, Venanzio
Berry, Thomas
Kaminer, Isaac
Walton, Claire
Pascoal, Antonio
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This paper presents a method for the generation of trajectories for autonomous system operations. The proposed method is based on the use of Bernstein polynomial approximations to transcribe infinite dimensional optimization problems into nonlinear programming problems. These, in turn, can be solved using off-the-shelf optimization solvers. The main motivation for this approach is that Bernstein polynomials possess favorable geometric properties and yield computationally efficient algorithms that enable a trajectory planner to efficiently evaluate and enforce constraints along the vehicles' trajectories, including maximum speed and angular rates as well as minimum distance between trajectories and between the vehicles and obstacles. By virtue of these properties and algorithms, feasibility and safety constraints typically imposed on autonomous vehicle operations can be enforced and guaranteed independently of the order of the polynomials. To support the use of the proposed method we introduce BeBOT (Bernstein/Bézier Optimal Trajectories), an open-source toolbox that implements the operations and algorithms for Bernstein polynomials. We show that BeBOT can be used to efficiently generate feasible and collision-free trajectories for single and multiple vehicles, and can be deployed for real-time safety critical applications in complex environments.

optimal trajectory generation, Bernstein polynomials, Bézier curves, optimal control
Sensors 22 (5): 1869 (2022)
Electrical and Computer Engineering