5200 N Lake Rd, Merced, CA 95343

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Ritesh Sharma

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS)

Ph.D. Disseration Defense


"Navigation Structures for Flows, Formation and Decision Making"


   This dissertation addresses the specific area of computing and visualizing navigation strategies in Computer Animation, Simulation, and Robotics, with specific applications in single and multi-agent navigation, evacuation analysis, and multi-agent animation. This dissertation presents three main contributions. Firstly, it introduces novel approaches to multi-agent planning and navigation using Shortest Path Maps (SPMs), which includes a new local collision avoidance strategy based on querying the SPM, and a two-phase approach for planning motions for agents in formation, balancing formation preference with clearance considerations. Secondly, it introduces the concept of computing and analyzing navigation boundaries for optimal decision-making in time-critical scenarios. This involves simulating time-varying avoidance zones and using SPMs to extract and visualize boundaries between shortest paths. Lastly, this dissertation introduces a method for controlling dispersion in multi-agent path planning and navigation in 3D spaces. The proposed approach is based on the computation of collision-free lanes leading to a shared goal region, considering agent clearance and path dispersion. Dispersion is addressed using a max-flow algorithm applied to a new 3D medial graph structure automatically extracted from the environment. These contributions open new avenues for research in designing structures and techniques for supporting new navigation strategies and visualization methods for a broad range of applications.

   Ritesh Sharma is a PhD Candidate in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California Merced. He was formerly advised by Dr. Marcelo Kallmann and is now working under Dr. Shawn Newsam. His research interests are in Computer Graphics, Geometry Processing, Scientific Visualization and Path Planning. His research focuses on developing navigation structures using geometrical approaches for computer simulation/animation and robotics. He received a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Oregon State University, USA and Bachelor of Technology degree in Computer Science and Engineering from West Bengal University of Technology, India.


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