Multiple target tracking (MTT) is the process of identifying the number of targets present in a surveillance region and the state estimates, or track, of each target. MTT remains a challenging problem due to the NP-hard data association step, where unlabeled measurements are identified as either a measurement of an existing target, a new target, or a spurious measurement called clutter. Existing techniques suffer from at least one of the following drawbacks: divergence in clutter, underlying assumptions on the number of targets, high computational complexity, time-consuming implementation, poor performance at low detection rates, and/or poor track continuity. Our goal is to develop an efficient MTT algorithm that is simple yet effective and that maintains track continuity enabling persistent tracking of an unknown number of targets. A related field to tracking is regression analysis, where the parameters of static signals are estimated from a batch or a sequence of data. The random sample consensus (RANSAC) algorithm was developed to mitigate the effects of spurious measurements, and has since found wide application within the computer vision community due to its robustness and efficiency. The main concept of RANSAC is to form numerous simple hypotheses from a batch of data and identify the hypothesis with the most supporting measurements. Unfortunately, RANSAC is not designed to track multiple targets using sequential measurements.To this end, we have developed the recursive-RANSAC (R-RANSAC) algorithm, which tracks multiple signals in clutter without requiring prior knowledge of the number of existing signals. The basic premise of the R-RANSAC algorithm is to store a set of RANSAC hypotheses between time steps. New measurements are used to either update existing hypotheses or generate new hypotheses using RANSAC. Storing multiple hypotheses enables R-RANSAC to track multiple targets. Good tracks are identified when a sufficient number of measurements support a hypothesis track. The complexity of R-RANSAC is shown to be squared in the number of measurements and stored tracks, and under moderate assumptions R-RANSAC converges in mean to the true states. We apply R-RANSAC to a variety of simulation, camera, and radar tracking examples.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





multiple target tracking, data association, Kalman filter, RANSAC, IMM, JPDA, MHT, PHD, MCMC data association, video surveillance, SAR