IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Vol.63, No.11, 3627-3642, 2018
Multitarget Tracking via Mixed Integer optimization
Given a set of target detections over several time periods, this paper addresses the multitarget tracking (MTT) problem of optimally assigning detections to targets and estimating the trajectory of the targets over time. MTT has been studied in the literature via predominantly probabilistic methods. In contrast, we propose the use of mixed integer optimization (MI0) along with relaxations and local-search-based heuristic algorithms that are: scalable, as they provide near optimal solutions for six targets and ten time periods in milliseconds to seconds; general, as they make no probabilistic assumptions on the detection process; robust, as they can accommodate missed and false detections of the targets; and easily implementable, as they use at most two tuning parameters. We evaluate the performance of the new methods using a novel metric for the complexity of an instance, and find that they provide high quality solutions both reliably and quickly for a large range of scenarios, resulting in a promising approach to the area of MIT.