Geometrically Intrinsic Nonlinear Recursive Filters I: Algorithms


The Geometrically Intrinsic Nonlinear Recursive Filter, or GI Filter, is designed to estimate an arbitrary continuous-time Markov diffusion process X subject to nonlinear discrete-time observations. The GI Filter is fundamentally different from the much-used Extended Kalman Filter (EKF), and its second-order variants, even in the simplest nonlinear case, in that: (i) It uses a quadratic function of a vector observation to update the state, instead of the linear function used by the EKF. (ii) It is based on deeper geometric principles, which make the GI Filter coordinate-invariant. This implies, for example, that if a linear system were subjected to a nonlinear transformation f of the state-space and analyzed using the GI Filter, the resulting state estimates and conditional variances would be the push-forward under f of the Kalman Filter estimates for the untransformed system - a property which is not shared by the EKF or its second-order variants. The noise covariance of X and the observation covariance themselves induce geometries on state space and observation space, respectively, and associated canonical connections. A sequel to this paper develops stochastic differential geometry results - based on "intrinsic location parameters", a notion derived from the heat flow of harmonic mappings - from which we derive the coordinate-free filter update formula. The present article presents the algorithm with reference to a specific example - the problem of tracking and intercepting a target, using sensors based on a moving missile. Computational experiments show that, when the observation function is highly nonlinear, there exist choices of the noise parameters at which the GI Filter significantly outperforms the EKF.Comment: 22 pages, 4 figure

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