Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications

, Volume 150, Issue 2, pp 233–250 | Cite as

Optimal Synthesis of the Asymmetric Sinistral/Dextral Markov–Dubins Problem

  • Efstathios Bakolas
  • Panagiotis Tsiotras


We consider a variation of the classical Markov–Dubins problem dealing with curvature-constrained, shortest paths in the plane with prescribed initial and terminal positions and tangents, when the lower and upper bounds of the curvature of the path are not necessarily equal. The motivation for this problem stems from vehicle navigation applications, when a vehicle may be biased in taking turns at a particular direction due to hardware failures or environmental conditions. After formulating the shortest path problem as a minimum-time problem, a family of extremals, which is sufficient for optimality, is characterized, and subsequently the complete analytic solution of the optimal synthesis problem is presented. In addition, the synthesis problem, when the terminal tangent is free, is also considered, leading to the characterization of the set of points that can be reached in the plane by curves satisfying asymmetric curvature constraints.


Markov–Dubins problem Curvature constrained paths Asymmetric steering constraints Non-holonomic systems 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Aerospace EngineeringGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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