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Navigation research

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Whereas originally the term Navigation applies to the process of directing a ship to a destination, Navigation research deals with fundamental aspects of navigation in general. It can be defined as "The process of determining and maintaining a course or trajectory to a goal location" (Franz, Mallot, 2000). It concerns basically all moving agents, biological or artificial, autonomous or remote-controlled.

Franz and Mallot proposed a navigation hierarchy (Robotics and Autonomous Systems 30 (2000), 133-153):

Behavioural prerequisite

Navigation competence

Local navigation

Search

Goal recognition

Finding the goal without active goal orientation

Direction-following

Align course with local direction

Finding the goal from one direction

Aiming

Keep goal in front

Finding a salient goal from a catchment area

Guidance

Attain spatial relation to the surrounding objects

Finding a goal defined by its relation to the surroundings

Way-finding

Recognition-triggered response

Association sensory pattern-action

Following fixed routes

Topological navigation

Route integration, route planning

Flexible concatenation of route segments

Survey navigation

Embedding into a common reference frame

Finding paths over novel terrain

There are two basic methods for navigation:

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