To compare path planning algorithms for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and to write a white paper on the comparative analysis. 


UAV 3D path planning aims at finding an optimal and an obstacle free path in a 3d environment while considering the geometric and the environmental constraints. There has been a lot of work done for solving the path planning problem of UAVs. But very less study is available which compares the different path planning algorithms of UAVs. This paper compares different studies regarding the topic and classifies them into five different categories. These five categories are described and the works which belong to each category is mentioned. Then a few interesting works from each category are summarized. The planning algorithms for single UAVs have been taken into consideration. Various parameters have been used to compare these works and determine the best aspect of each work.



It should be noted that a lot of works might belong to one or more categories. But for simplicity, the works are only classified into only one of the five categories.

Based on Experience

  • Bilateral search new model

  • Improved RRT

  • Contour based approach

  • RRT Connect

  • Spline RRT Based approaches

  • Probabilistic method

Based on Nodes

  • Bidirectional sparse A*

  • Improved heuristic A*

  • Visibility line based methods

Based on Computational Models

  • Adaptive vortex search

  • Partially Observable Markov Decision process

  • Receding Horizon method

  • Contour based path planning

Nature Inspired Algorithms

  • Genetic Algorithm

  • Ant Colony Optimization

  • Particle Swarm Optimization

  • Parallel Evolutionary approach

Hybrid Approaches

  • Genetic algorithm and artificial neural networks

  • Group Search Optimizer with differential evolution

  • Virtual Force and A*

  • Potential Field and modified receding A*