Journal of Global Optimization

, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 663–681 | Cite as

Curvature-constrained directional-cost paths in the plane

  • Alan J. ChangEmail author
  • Marcus Brazil
  • J. Hyam Rubinstein
  • Doreen A. Thomas


This paper looks at the problem of finding the minimum cost curvature-constrained path between two directed points where the cost at every point along the path depends on the instantaneous direction. This generalises the results obtained by Dubins for curvature-constrained paths of minimum length, commonly referred to as Dubins paths. We conclude that if the reciprocal of the directional-cost function is strictly polarly convex, then the forms of the optimal paths are of the same forms as Dubins paths. If we relax the strict polar convexity to weak polar convexity, then we show that there exists a Dubins path which is optimal. The results obtained can be applied to optimising the development of underground mine networks, where the paths need to satisfy a curvature constraint and the cost of development of the tunnel depends on the direction due to the geological characteristics of the ground.


Curvature constraint Dubins paths Path optimization Directional cost Anisotropic velocity Pontryagin’s minimum principle 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan J. Chang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marcus Brazil
    • 2
  • J. Hyam Rubinstein
    • 3
  • Doreen A. Thomas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringThe University of MelbourneVictoriaAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Electrical and Electronic EngineeringThe University of MelbourneVictoriaAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsThe University of MelbourneVictoriaAustralia

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