9 - Initiators & Deleters

So far we have provided a prior in all our examples, defining where we think our tracks will start. This has also been for a fixed number of tracks. In practice, targets may appear and disappear all the time. This could be because they enter/exit the sensor’s field of view. The location/state of the targets’ birth may also be unknown and varying.

Simulating multiple targets

Here we’ll simulate multiple targets moving at a constant velocity. A Poisson distribution will be used to sample the number of new targets which are born at a particular timestep, and a simple draw from a uniform distribution will be used to decide if a target will be removed. Each target will have a random position and velocity on birth.

from datetime import datetime
from datetime import timedelta

import numpy as np
from ordered_set import OrderedSet

from stonesoup.models.transition.linear import CombinedLinearGaussianTransitionModel, \
from stonesoup.types.groundtruth import GroundTruthPath, GroundTruthState


start_time = datetime.now().replace(microsecond=0)
truths = OrderedSet()  # Truths across all time
current_truths = set()  # Truths alive at current time

transition_model = CombinedLinearGaussianTransitionModel([ConstantVelocity(0.005),
timesteps = []
for k in range(20):
    timesteps.append(start_time + timedelta(seconds=k))
    # Death
    for truth in current_truths.copy():
        if np.random.rand() <= 0.05:  # Death probability
    # Update truths
    for truth in current_truths:
            transition_model.function(truth[-1], noise=True, time_interval=timedelta(seconds=1)),
    # Birth
    for _ in range(np.random.poisson(0.6)):  # Birth probability
        x, y = initial_position = np.random.rand(2) * [20, 20]  # Range [0, 20] for x and y
        x_vel, y_vel = (np.random.rand(2))*2 - 1  # Range [-1, 1] for x and y velocity
        state = GroundTruthState([x, x_vel, y, y_vel], timestamp=timesteps[k])

        # Add to truth set for current and for all timestamps
        truth = GroundTruthPath([state])

from stonesoup.plotter import AnimatedPlotterly
plotter = AnimatedPlotterly(timesteps, tail_length=0.3)
plotter.plot_ground_truths(truths, [0, 2])

Generate Detections and Clutter

Next, generate detections with clutter just as in the previous tutorials, skipping over the truth paths that weren’t alive at the current time step.

from scipy.stats import uniform
from stonesoup.types.detection import TrueDetection
from stonesoup.types.detection import Clutter
from stonesoup.models.measurement.linear import LinearGaussian
measurement_model = LinearGaussian(
    mapping=(0, 2),
    noise_covar=np.array([[0.25, 0],
                          [0, 0.25]])
all_measurements = []

for k in range(20):
    measurement_set = set()
    timestamp = start_time + timedelta(seconds=k)

    for truth in truths:
            truth_state = truth[timestamp]
        except IndexError:
            # This truth not alive at this time.
        # Generate actual detection from the state with a 10% chance that no detection is received.
        if np.random.rand() <= 0.9:
            # Generate actual detection from the state
            measurement = measurement_model.function(truth_state, noise=True)

        # Generate clutter at this time-step
        truth_x = truth_state.state_vector[0]
        truth_y = truth_state.state_vector[2]
        for _ in range(np.random.randint(2)):
            x = uniform.rvs(truth_x - 10, 20)
            y = uniform.rvs(truth_y - 10, 20)
            measurement_set.add(Clutter(np.array([[x], [y]]), timestamp=timestamp,

# Plot true detections and clutter.
plotter.plot_measurements(all_measurements, [0, 2])

Creating a Tracker

We’ll now create the tracker components as we did with the multi-target examples previously.

from stonesoup.predictor.kalman import KalmanPredictor
predictor = KalmanPredictor(transition_model)

from stonesoup.updater.kalman import KalmanUpdater
updater = KalmanUpdater(measurement_model)

from stonesoup.hypothesiser.distance import DistanceHypothesiser
from stonesoup.measures import Mahalanobis
hypothesiser = DistanceHypothesiser(predictor, updater, measure=Mahalanobis(), missed_distance=3)

from stonesoup.dataassociator.neighbour import GNNWith2DAssignment
data_associator = GNNWith2DAssignment(hypothesiser)

Creating a Deleter

Here we are going to create an error based deleter, which will delete any Track where trace of the covariance is over a certain threshold, i.e. when we have a high uncertainty. This simply requires a threshold to be defined, which will depend on units and number of dimensions of your state vector. So the higher the threshold value, the longer tracks that haven’t been updated will remain.

from stonesoup.deleter.error import CovarianceBasedDeleter
deleter = CovarianceBasedDeleter(covar_trace_thresh=4)

Creating an Initiator

Here we are going to use a measurement based initiator, which will create a track from the unassociated Detection objects. A prior needs to be defined for the entire state but elements of the state that are measured are replaced by state of the measurement, including the measurement’s uncertainty (noise covariance defined by the MeasurementModel). In this example, as our sensor measures position (as defined in measurement model mapping attribute earlier), we only need to modify the values for the velocity and its variance.

As we are dealing with clutter, here we are going to be using a multi-measurement initiator. This requires that multiple measurements are added to a track before being initiated. In this example, this initiator effectively runs a mini version of the same tracker, but you could use different components.

from stonesoup.types.state import GaussianState
from stonesoup.initiator.simple import MultiMeasurementInitiator
initiator = MultiMeasurementInitiator(
    prior_state=GaussianState([[0], [0], [0], [0]], np.diag([0, 1, 0, 1])),

Running the Tracker

Loop through the predict, hypothesise, associate and update steps like before, but note on update which detections we’ve used at each time step. In each loop the deleter is called, returning tracks that are to be removed. Then the initiator is called with the unassociated detections, by removing the associated detections from the full set. The order of the deletion and initiation is important, so tracks that have just been created, aren’t deleted straight away. (The implementation below is the same as MultiTargetTracker)

tracks, all_tracks = set(), set()

for n, measurements in enumerate(all_measurements):
    # Calculate all hypothesis pairs and associate the elements in the best subset to the tracks.
    hypotheses = data_associator.associate(tracks,
                                           start_time + timedelta(seconds=n))
    associated_measurements = set()
    for track in tracks:
        hypothesis = hypotheses[track]
        if hypothesis.measurement:
            post = updater.update(hypothesis)
        else:  # When data associator says no detections are good enough, we'll keep the prediction

    # Carry out deletion and initiation
    tracks -= deleter.delete_tracks(tracks)
    tracks |= initiator.initiate(measurements - associated_measurements,
                                 start_time + timedelta(seconds=n))
    all_tracks |= tracks

Plot the resulting tracks.

plotter.plot_tracks(all_tracks, [0, 2], uncertainty=True)

Total running time of the script: (0 minutes 1.391 seconds)

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