This paper investigates the task assignment and path planning problem for multiple AUVs in three dimensional (3D) underwater wireless sensor networks where nonholonomic motion constraints of underwater AUVs in 3D space are considered. The multi-target task assignment and path planning problem is modeled by the Multiple Traveling Sales Person (MTSP) problem and the Genetic Algorithm (GA) is used to solve the MTSP problem with Euclidean distance as the cost function and the Tour Hop Balance (THB) or Tour Length Balance (TLB) constraints as the stop criterion. The resulting tour sequences are mapped to 2D Dubins curves in the X − Y plane, and then interpolated linearly to obtain the Z coordinates. We demonstrate that the linear interpolation fails to achieve G1 continuity in the 3D Dubins path for multiple targets. Therefore, the interpolated 3D Dubins curves are checked against the AUV dynamics constraint and the ones satisfying the constraint are accepted to finalize the 3D Dubins curve selection. Simulation results demonstrate that the integration of the 3D Dubins curve with the MTSP model is successful and effective for solving the 3D target assignment and path planning problem.


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province
National Natural Science Foundation (China)
National Science Foundation (U.S.)


The research work of Wenyu Cai was partially supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (No.LY16F030004, No.LY15F030018 and Y18F030025) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.6170060208). The work of Y.R. Zheng was support in part by the National Science Foundation of the USA under grant #ECCS1408316.

Keywords and Phrases

Energy balance; Genetic algorithms; Motion planning; Problem solving; Target tracking; Wireless sensor networks; Dynamics constraints; Linear Interpolation; Multiple autonomous underwater vehicles; Multiple AUVs; Path planning problems; Task assignment; Threedimensional (3-d); Underwater wireless sensor networks; Autonomous underwater vehicles

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Article - Journal

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Publication Date

01 Jul 2017