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Probabilistic Robotics (Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Agents series)

32 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0262201629
ISBN-10: 0262201623
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Editorial Reviews


Probabilistic Robotics is a tour de force, replete with material for students and practitioners alike.

(Gaurav S. Sukhatme, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California)

About the Author

Sebastian Thrun is Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University and Director of the Stanford AI Lab.

Wolfram Burgard is Professor of Computer Science and Head of the research lab for Autonomous Intelligent Systems at the University of Freiburg.

Dieter Fox is Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Washington.


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Product Details

  • Series: Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Agents series
  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (August 19, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262201623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262201629
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Ravi Mohan on July 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The authors took 6 years to write this book. And it shows. This is a mindblowing tour through the algorithms used at the cutting edge of Robotics.

What is good

1. Every algorithm has descriptive text, mathematical derivations AND pseudo code. More importantly it all meshes into a cohesive whole.

2. The progression of chapters is excellent, starting with basic algorithms and proceeding to more advanced/refined algorithms.

3.There is a consistent practical focus with algorithms being explained in the context of solving real world problems in robotics.

4. The exercises are few in number , but are *perfect* to illuminate each chapter's ideas and encourage the reader to start thinking on his own.

5. There is a comprehensive errata page on the book's website.

6. Last but not least, the tone of the writing is very engaging. The reader is not talked down to. It is almost as if the authors were in your study carefully guiding you through an intellectual wonderland.

The bad.

Hmmm i can't think of anything. It is great book. I just wish the authors would write MORE books like this :-)

About the only caveat is that a reader should have *some* degree of mathematical insight before attempting this book. The authors do cover elementary probability theory etc in the initial chapters, and they do a good job given the space constraints. But in my opinion if you have absolutely no experience in probability theory or calculus, you should probably learn from other books and then tackle this one. This is, after all, a graduate level text.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Davies VINE VOICE on August 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is really an amazing book - it more than fulfilled my expectations.
It starts from the very basics of probability theory and clearly derives
Kalman Filtering, Particle Filtering, Probabilistic Motion and Probabilistic
Perception in the first 6 chapters. From there it moves on to talk about
Localization and Mapping completely separately (which I appreciated, since
the two topics are far easier to comprehend independently) in chapters 7 and
8 and then finally introduces SLAM (the main topic of the book) in chapter
9. From there it goes on to discuss various SLAM algorithms and implementations,
and finally rounds out with planning and control (that is, the practical
application of SLAM algorithms).

I can't imagine a more well-researched academic work. Every point is backed
up with examples and illustrations, and every algorithm is derived rigorously.
Even better, the mathematical derivations are set apart from the main text
so that a more "casual" reader can skip over the derivations and still get
some benefit from the text (and believe me, the math parts of this book are
very involved!). The authors assume a working knowledge of trigonometry,
calculus and linear algebra (although you could likely make some sense of the
book even if you're rusty in any of these areas). However, since the book
is about probability, you'll probably need some background in probability
theory to get any value from this text. Chapter 2 contains a refresher on
probability theory, but I doubt it would be enough to decipher the later
chapters if you had no background in the subject.
Read more ›
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By DM on November 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Think of a situation where you had an extremely good lecturer for some subject at uni. The lecturer explained everything very nicely using a host of slides, examples etc. Now, if after the lectures you go back and look at the slides again, you'll probably understand what the slides mean and remember what the lecturer said with regard to each slide. But, as is typical in any course, the slides doesn't contain all the information you learnt during the course. The explanations from the lecturer were critical in understanding the slides.

Now, think of the situation where someone who didn't attend the course, try to learn the subject, just by reading through the slides. This is generally extremely difficult. especially because the slides themselves doesn't contain all the information required to comprehend them.

This book is exactly that. It's a set of slides from a good lecture, but without the important other bits of information required to properly comprehend the ideas presented with it. I feel that the authors assume that the readers already know what they are talking about, and goes on skipping over the details required to properly grasp those concepts. If you've already learnt the topics in the book from by some other means, then you'll be able to understand what the authors are trying to say, and would end up ranking this book as an excellent book. But, my question is, if you already knew those things, why would you read this book in the first place.

BUT, it's not a worthless book. Few of the sections are explained in a very intuitive manner. Also, it's a good book for those who already know the concepts, but want to put them altogether in a coherent manner, with respect to robotics. Also, it is a good source for those who are looking for a list of state-of-the-art algorithms in mobile robotics.
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