Intention Aware Robot Crowd Navigation with Attention-Based Interaction Graph

Shuijing Liu, Peixin Chang, Zhe Huang, Neeloy Chakraborty, Kaiwen Hong, Weihang Liang, D. Livingston McPherson, Junyi Geng, Katherine Driggs-Campbell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Scopus citations


We study the problem of safe and intention-aware robot navigation in dense and interactive crowds. Most previous reinforcement learning (RL) based methods fail to consider different types of interactions among all agents or ignore the intentions of people, which results in performance degradation. In this paper, we propose a novel recurrent graph neural network with attention mechanisms to capture heterogeneous interactions among agents through space and time. To encourage longsighted robot behaviors, we infer the intentions of dynamic agents by predicting their future trajectories for several timesteps. The predictions are incorporated into a model-free RL framework to prevent the robot from intruding into the intended paths of other agents. We demonstrate that our method enables the robot to achieve good navigation performance and non-invasiveness in challenging crowd navigation scenarios. We successfully transfer the policy learned in simulation to a real-world TurtleBot 2i. Our code and videos are available at

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - ICRA 2023
Subtitle of host publicationIEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9798350323658
StatePublished - 2023
Event2023 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2023 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: May 29 2023Jun 2 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
ISSN (Print)1050-4729


Conference2023 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence

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