A Simple and Efficient Sampling-based Algorithm for General Reachability Analysis

December, 2021


In this work, we analyze an efficient sampling-based algorithm for general-purpose reachability analysis, which remains a notoriously challenging problem with applications ranging from neural network verification to safety analysis of dynamical systems. By sampling inputs, evaluating their images in the true reachable set, and taking their ϵ-padded convex hull as a set estimator, this algorithm applies to general problem settings and is simple to implement. Our main contribution is the derivation of asymptotic and finite-sample accuracy guarantees using random set theory. This analysis informs algorithmic design to obtain an ϵ-close reachable set approximation with high probability, provides insights into which reachability problems are most challenging, and motivates safety-critical applications of the technique. On a neural network verification task, we show that this approach is more accurate and significantly faster than prior work. Informed by our analysis, we also design a robust model predictive controller that we demonstrate in hardware experiments.

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