A scalable method for parallelizing sampling-based motion planning algorithms

Sam Ade Jacobs, Kasra Manavi, Juan Burgos, Jory Denny, Shawna Thomas, Nancy M. Amato

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

20 Scopus citations


This paper describes a scalable method for parallelizing sampling-based motion planning algorithms. It subdivides configuration space (C-space) into (possibly overlapping) regions and independently, in parallel, uses standard (sequential) sampling-based planners to construct roadmaps in each region. Next, in parallel, regional roadmaps in adjacent regions are connected to form a global roadmap. By subdividing the space and restricting the locality of connection attempts, we reduce the work and inter-processor communication associated with nearest neighbor calculation, a critical bottleneck for scalability in existing parallel motion planning methods. We show that our method is general enough to handle a variety of planning schemes, including the widely used Probabilistic Roadmap (PRM) and Rapidly-exploring Random Trees (RRT) algorithms. We compare our approach to two other existing parallel algorithms and demonstrate that our approach achieves better and more scalable performance. Our approach achieves almost linear scalability on a 2400 core LINUX cluster and on a 153,216 core Cray XE6 petascale machine. © 2012 IEEE.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781467314053
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-C1-016-04
Acknowledgements: This research supported in part by NSF awards: CRI-0551685, CCF-0833199, CCF-0830753, IIS-096053, IIS-0917266, NSF/DNDO award2008-DN-077-ARI018-02, by the DOE NNSA under the Predictive ScienceAcademic Alliances Program grant DE-FC52-08NA28616, by THECBNHARP award 000512-0097-2009, by Chevron, IBM, Intel, Oracle/Sun andby Award KUS-C1-016-04, made by King Abdullah University of Scienceand Technology (KAUST). This research used resources of the NationalEnergy Research Scientific Computing Center, which is supported by theOffice of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No.DE-AC02-05CH11231.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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