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Cococcioni M., Fiaschi L., and Lermusiaux P. Game theory for unmanned vehicles path planning in the marine domain: state of the art and new possibilities. Journal of Maritime Science and Engineering, 9:1175, 2021, doi:10.3390/jmse9111175 Featured

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Thanks to the advent of new technologies and higher real-time computational capabilities, the use of unmanned vehicles in the marine domain has received a significant boost in the last decade. Ocean and seabed sampling, missions in dangerous areas, and civilian security are only a few of the large number of applications which currently benefit from unmanned vehicles. One of the most actively studied topic is their full autonomy; i.e., the design of marine vehicles capable of pursuing a task while reacting to the changes of the environment without the intervention of humans, not even remotely. Environmental dynamicity may consist of variations of currents, the presence of unknown obstacles, and attacks from adversaries (e.g., pirates). To achieve autonomy in such highly dynamic uncertain conditions, many types of autonomous path planning problems need to be solved. There has thus been a commensurate number of approaches and methods to optimize this kind of path planning. This work focuses on game-theoretic approaches and provides a wide overview of the current state of the art, along with future directions.


game theory; path planning; level sets; autonomous vehicles; underwater driving; marine surface driving; coverage games; search games; patrolling; coordination control; pursuer–evader


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