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Advanced signal processing techniques for multi-target tracking

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posted on 11.10.2018 by Abdullahi Daniyan
The multi-target tracking problem essentially involves the recursive joint estimation of the state of unknown and time-varying number of targets present in a tracking scene, given a series of observations. This problem becomes more challenging because the sequence of observations is noisy and can become corrupted due to miss-detections and false alarms/clutter. Additionally, the detected observations are indistinguishable from clutter. Furthermore, whether the target(s) of interest are point or extended (in terms of spatial extent) poses even more technical challenges. An approach known as random finite sets provides an elegant and rigorous framework for the handling of the multi-target tracking problem. With a random finite sets formulation, both the multi-target states and multi-target observations are modelled as finite set valued random variables, that is, random variables which are random in both the number of elements and the values of the elements themselves. Furthermore, compared to other approaches, the random finite sets approach possesses a desirable characteristic of being free of explicit data association prior to tracking. In addition, a framework is available for dealing with random finite sets and is known as finite sets statistics. In this thesis, advanced signal processing techniques are employed to provide enhancements to and develop new random finite sets based multi-target tracking algorithms for the tracking of both point and extended targets with the aim to improve tracking performance in cluttered environments. To this end, firstly, a new and efficient Kalman-gain aided sequential Monte Carlo probability hypothesis density (KG-SMC-PHD) filter and a cardinalised particle probability hypothesis density (KG-SMC-CPHD) filter are proposed. These filters employ the Kalman- gain approach during weight update to correct predicted particle states by minimising the mean square error between the estimated measurement and the actual measurement received at a given time in order to arrive at a more accurate posterior. This technique identifies and selects those particles belonging to a particular target from a given PHD for state correction during weight computation. The proposed SMC-CPHD filter provides a better estimate of the number of targets. Besides the improved tracking accuracy, fewer particles are required in the proposed approach. Simulation results confirm the improved tracking performance when evaluated with different measures. Secondly, the KG-SMC-(C)PHD filters are particle filter (PF) based and as with PFs, they require a process known as resampling to avoid the problem of degeneracy. This thesis proposes a new resampling scheme to address a problem with the systematic resampling method which causes a high tendency of resampling very low weight particles especially when a large number of resampled particles are required; which in turn affect state estimation. Thirdly, the KG-SMC-(C)PHD filters proposed in this thesis perform filtering and not tracking , that is, they provide only point estimates of target states but do not provide connected estimates of target trajectories from one time step to the next. A new post processing step using game theory as a solution to this filtering - tracking problem is proposed. This approach was named the GTDA method. This method was employed in the KG-SMC-(C)PHD filter as a post processing technique and was evaluated using both simulated and real data obtained using the NI-USRP software defined radio platform in a passive bi-static radar system. Lastly, a new technique for the joint tracking and labelling of multiple extended targets is proposed. To achieve multiple extended target tracking using this technique, models for the target measurement rate, kinematic component and target extension are defined and jointly propagated in time under the generalised labelled multi-Bernoulli (GLMB) filter framework. The GLMB filter is a random finite sets-based filter. In particular, a Poisson mixture variational Bayesian (PMVB) model is developed to simultaneously estimate the measurement rate of multiple extended targets and extended target extension was modelled using B-splines. The proposed method was evaluated with various performance metrics in order to demonstrate its effectiveness in tracking multiple extended targets.


Great Britain, Ministry of Defence, University Defence Research Collaboration (UDRC). EPSRC. Petroleum Technology Development Fund (Nigeria). Federal University of Technology (Minna, Nigeria).



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Abdullahi Daniyan

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.