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Semantic point cloud interpretation based on optimal neighborhoods, relevant features and efficient classifiers

Weinmann, Martin, Jutzi, Boris, Hinz, Stefan, Mallet, Clément
ISPRS journal of photogrammetry and remote sensing 2015 v.105 pp. 286-304
computer vision, data collection, expert opinion, photogrammetry, remote sensing, robots
3D scene analysis in terms of automatically assigning 3D points a respective semantic label has become a topic of great importance in photogrammetry, remote sensing, computer vision and robotics. In this paper, we address the issue of how to increase the distinctiveness of geometric features and select the most relevant ones among these for 3D scene analysis. We present a new, fully automated and versatile framework composed of four components: (i) neighborhood selection, (ii) feature extraction, (iii) feature selection and (iv) classification. For each component, we consider a variety of approaches which allow applicability in terms of simplicity, efficiency and reproducibility, so that end-users can easily apply the different components and do not require expert knowledge in the respective domains. In a detailed evaluation involving 7 neighborhood definitions, 21 geometric features, 7 approaches for feature selection, 10 classifiers and 2 benchmark datasets, we demonstrate that the selection of optimal neighborhoods for individual 3D points significantly improves the results of 3D scene analysis. Additionally, we show that the selection of adequate feature subsets may even further increase the quality of the derived results while significantly reducing both processing time and memory consumption.