Identifying Sources And Sinks In The Presence Of Multiple Agents With Gaussian Process Vector Calcul

Authors:
Adam Derek Cobb University of Oxford
Richard Everett University of Oxford
Andrew Markham University of Oxford
Stephen Roberts University of Oxford

Introduction:

In systems of multiple agents, identifying the cause of observed agent dynamics is challenging.The authors present GP-LAPLACE, a technique for locating sources and sinks from trajectories in time-varying fields.

Abstract:

In systems of multiple agents, identifying the cause of observed agent dynamics is challenging. Often, these agents operate in diverse, non-stationary environments, where models rely on hand-crafted environment-specific features to infer influential regions in the system’s surroundings. To overcome the limitations of these inflexible models, we present GP-LAPLACE, a technique for locating sources and sinks from trajectories in time-varying fields. Using Gaussian processes, we jointly infer a spatio-temporal vector field, as well as canonical vector calculus operations on that field. Notably, we do this from only agent trajectories without requiring knowledge of the environment, and also obtain a metric for denoting the significance of inferred causal features in the environment by exploiting our probabilistic method. To evaluate our approach, we apply it to both synthetic and real-world GPS data, demonstrating the applicability of our technique in the presence of multiple agents, as well as its superiority over existing methods.

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