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On Variants of the Target Visitation Problem (TVP)

Michael Hirsch, President at ISEA TEK

The standard target visitation problem (TVP) is concerned with routing a vehicle to visit a set of targets, minimizing the distance traveled and maximizing a reward function.  With the proliferation of dynamically networked unmanned vehicles, i.e., mobile ad-hoc networks of vehicles, there is also the concern of ensuring that the vehicles maximize their connectivity, allowing them to share any information they collect, or decisions they make. This problem has several military and governmental applications, including coordination of rescue vehicles, path planning for unmanned air vehicles, and geographical exploration and target recognition.  This talk will give an introduction to the TVP, and then present a new mathematical formulation to maximize the connectivity of a set of vehicles that must visit a set of targets. Numerical results will be presented and future research directions will be discussed.


Dr. Michael J. Hirsch is currently the president of ISEA TEK, a woman-owned research and development consulting company specializing in autonomy, operations research, information fusion, course of action analysis, and resource allocation. Prior to his current position at ISEA TEK, Dr. Hirsch was a Senior Principal Scientist at Raytheon Company. In this role, he led multiple research and development projects, including: the development of decentralized cooperative control strategies for autonomous UAVs tasked with searching for and tracking targets of interest; collaboratively replanning space asset collection decks, due to important ‘pop-up’ tasks; developing a companywide roadmap for autonomy research, among others.  Dr. Hirsch is also affiliated with Stetson University, as a visiting professor of mathematics, and the University at Buffalo, as a visiting research scientist with the department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. Dr. Hirsch has a number of publications in distinguished journals, and has been invited to speak at numerous international symposia.