Stochastic Systems Group
Home Research Group Members Programs  
Demos Calendar Publications Mission Statement Alumni

SSG Seminar Abstract

A Physical-Space Approach for the Probability Hypothesis Density and Cardinalized PHD Filters

Peter Willett
University of Connecticut

The probability hypothesis density (PHD) filter, an automatically track-managed multi-target tracker, is attracting increasing but cautious attention. Its derivation is elegant and mathematical, and thus of course many engineers fear it; perhaps that is currently limiting the number of researchers working on the subject. In this paper, we explore a physical-space approach - a bin model - which leads us to arrive the same filter equations as the PHD. Unlike the original derivation of the PHD filter, the concepts used are the familiar ones of conditional probability. The original PHD suffers from a "target-death" problem in which even a single missed detection can lead to the apparent disappearance of a target. To obviate this, PHD originator Mahler has recently developed a new "cardinalized" version of PHD (CPHD). We are able to extend our physical-space derivation to the CPHD case as well. We stress that the original derivations are mathematically correct, and need no embellishment from us; our contribution here is to offer an alternative derivation, one that we find appealing.

Problems with this site should be emailed to