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Evaluation of multi target tracking algorithms in the presence of clutter

Güner, Onur
This thesis describes the theoretical bases, implementation and testing of a multi target tracking approach in radar applications. The main concern in this thesis is the evaluation of the performance of tracking algorithms in the presence of false alarms due to clutter. Multi target tracking algorithms are composed of three main parts: track initiation, data association and estimation. Two methods are proposed for track initiation in this work. First one is the track score function followed by a threshold comparison and the second one is the 2/2 & M/N method which is based on the number of detections. For data association problem, several algorithms are developed according to the environment and number of tracks that are of interest. The simplest method for data association is the nearest-neighbor data association technique. In addition, the methods that use multiple hypotheses like probabilistic data association and joint probabilistic data association are introduced and investigated. Moreover, in the observation to track assignment, gating is an important issue since it reduces the complexity of the computations. Generally, ellipsoidal gates are used for this purpose. For estimation, Kalman filters are used for state prediction and measurement update. In filtering, target kinematics is an important point for the modeling. Therefore, Kalman filters based on different target kinematic models are run in parallel and the outputs of filters are combined to yield a single solution. This method is developed for maneuvering targets and is called interactive multiple modeling (IMM). All these algorithms are integrated to form a multi target tracker that works in the presence (or absence) of clutter. Track score function, joint probabilistic data association (JPDAF) and interactive multiple model filtering are used for this purpose. Keywords: clutter, false alarms, track