Date of Award

Fall 12-18-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Engineering and Applied Science


Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Vesselin Jilkov

Second Advisor

X. Rong Li

Third Advisor

Huimin Chen

Fourth Advisor

Shengru Tu

Fifth Advisor

George Ioup


Particle filtering has been a very popular method to solve nonlinear/non-Gaussian state estimation problems for more than twenty years. Particle filters (PFs) have found lots of applications in areas that include nonlinear filtering of noisy signals and data, especially in target tracking. However, implementation of high dimensional PFs in real-time for large-scale problems is a very challenging computational task.

Parallel & distributed (P&D) computing is a promising way to deal with the computational challenges of PF methods. The main goal of this dissertation is to develop, implement and evaluate computationally efficient PF algorithms for target tracking, and thereby bring them closer to practical applications. To reach this goal, a number of parallel PF algorithms is designed and implemented using different parallel hardware architectures such as Computer Cluster, Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), and Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). Proposed is an improved PF implementation for computer cluster - the Particle Transfer Algorithm (PTA), which takes advantage of the cluster architecture and outperforms significantly existing algorithms. Also, a novel GPU PF algorithm implementation is designed which is highly efficient for GPU architectures. The proposed algorithm implementations on different parallel computing environments are applied and tested for target tracking problems, such as space object tracking, ground multitarget tracking using image sensor, UAV-multisensor tracking. Comprehensive performance evaluation and comparison of the algorithms for both tracking and computational capabilities is performed. It is demonstrated by the obtained simulation results that the proposed implementations help greatly overcome the computational issues of particle filtering for realistic practical problems.


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