Safe learning for uncertainty-aware planning via interval MDP abstraction

J. Jiang, Y. Zhao, S. Coogan
IEEE Control Systems Letters, 2022


We study the problem of refining satisfiability bounds for partially-known stochastic systems against planning specifications defined using syntactically co-safe Linear Temporal Logic (scLTL). We propose an abstraction-based approach that iteratively generates high-confidence Interval Markov Decision Process (IMDP) abstractions of the system from high-confidence bounds on the unknown component of the dynamics obtained via Gaussian process regression. In particular, we develop a synthesis strategy to sample the unknown dynamics by finding paths which avoid specification-violating states using a product IMDP. We further provide a heuristic to choose among various candidate paths to maximize the information gain. Finally, we propose an iterative algorithm to synthesize a satisfying control policy for the product IMDP system. We demonstrate our work with a case study on mobile robot navigation.