Keywords: [ Gaussian Processes and Bayesian non-parametrics ]
The safe operation of physical systems typically relies on high-quality models. Since a continuous stream of data is generated during run-time, such models are often obtained through the application of Gaussian process regression because it provides guarantees on the prediction error. Due to its high computational complexity, Gaussian process regression must be used offline on batches of data, which prevents applications, where a fast adaptation through online learning is necessary to ensure safety. In order to overcome this issue, we propose the LoG-GP. It achieves a logarithmic update and prediction complexity in the number of training points through the aggregation of locally active Gaussian process models. Under weak assumptions on the aggregation scheme, it inherits safety guarantees from exact Gaussian process regression. These theoretical advantages are exemplarily exploited in the design of a safe and data-efficient, online-learning control policy. The efficiency and performance of the proposed real-time learning approach is demonstrated in a comparison to state-of-the-art methods.