The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences

, Volume 63, Issue 4, pp 308–334 | Cite as

Minimum Uncertainty JPDA Filters and Coalescence Avoidance for Multiple Object Tracking

  • Evan Kaufman
  • T. Alan Lovell
  • Taeyoung Lee


Two variations of the joint probabilistic data association filter (JPDAF) are derived and simulated in various cases in this paper. First, an analytic solution for an optimal gain that minimizes posterior estimate uncertainty is derived, referred to as the minimum uncertainty JPDAF (M-JPDAF). Second, the coalescence-avoiding JPDAF (C-JPDAF) is derived, which removes coalescence by minimizing a weighted sum of the posterior uncertainty and a measure of similarity between estimated probability densities. Both novel algorithms are tested in much further depth than any prior work to show how the algorithms perform in various scenarios. In particular, the M-JPDAF more accurately tracks objects than the conventional JPDAF in all simulated cases. When coalescence degrades the estimates at too great of a level, and the C-JPDAF is often superior at removing coalescence when its parameters are properly tuned.


Data association JPDAF Minimum uncertainty Coalescence 



This research has been supported in part by NSF under the grants CMMI-1243000 (transferred from 1029551), CMMI-1335008, and CNS-1337722.


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Copyright information

© American Astronautical Society 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringThe George Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Air Force Research LaboratorySpace Vehicles DirectorateKirtland AFBUSA

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