Hierarchical rule-base reduction fuzzy control for constant velocity path tracking of a differential steer vehicle

Samuel R. Dekhterman, Maxwel T. Cichon, William R. Norris, Dustin Nottage, Ahmet Soylemezoglu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hierarchical rule-base reduction (HRBR) was used to create a new form of waypoint navigation control for a skid-steer vehicle, which consists of a multiple input-single output nonlinear fuzzy angular velocity controller. HRBR enabled an increase in system complexity by only selecting the rules most influential on state errors. The membership functions of the fuzzy controller employed a trapezoidal structure with a completely symmetric rule-base. The work was motivated by a desire to find the limitations of fuzzy control in terms of accuracy and robustness across environments. To accomplish this, an examination of the proposed controller is completed by employing test courses. The test courses examine the effects of steering disturbance, phase lag, and overshoot. The controller's performance was compared with existing waypoint navigation controllers, pure pursuit, and the Huskić Buck Zell (HBZ) controller. After initial controller development/tuning was completed in the simulation, the controllers were tested outdoors. The HRBR fuzzy was found to outperform the pure pursuit and HBZ in simulation (36.74% and 80.56% improvement in Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) on one course) and on concrete with mixed results on a surface with different dynamics, namely grass (23.13% and 55.64% improvement in RMSE averaging the two on the same course). If a moderate amount of tuning of the fuzzy controller had not been performed in simulation, failure across different environments would be more likely. The present study is important as it illustrates the potential effectiveness of the HRBR for control applications beyond waypoint navigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)718-734
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Field Robotics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • ROS
  • differential steer vehicle
  • fuzzy logic
  • pure pursuit
  • waypoint navigation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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