Berry van Someren

Computer vision & Deep learning



Combining different types of data from multiple views makes it easier to perform object detection. Our novel method enables multi-view deep convolutional neural networks to combine color information from panoramic images and depth information derived from Lidar point clouds for improved street furniture detection. Our focus is on the prediction of world positions of light poles specifically. In contrast to related methods, our method operates on data from real world environments consisting of many complex objects and supports the combination of information from recording locations that do not have fixed relative positions.

Contributions

We make five contributions in this work. First, we propose a single-view pipeline which produces segmentations that are reconstructed as labeled point clouds, after which a three-dimensional clustering method extracts the world positions for the segmented objects. Then, a scalable method to generate ground truth to train the segmentation-network is described. Different depth-derived features are explored to find an optimal data representation to transfer information to the neural segmentation-network. A novel method is then introduced that refocuses and reprojects images, based on the depth information of Lidar point clouds, so that correlation between images from different camera poses is directly defined and no longer has to be inferred through complex matching algorithms. Finally, a multi-view pipeline is introduced that leverages refocusing and reprojection to combine data from multiple recording locations. This combination of geometric and deep learning methods has never been performed before.

Depth information is derived from meshes that are reconstructed from the Lidar point clouds.

The single-view pipeline

A neural segmentation network is used to predict pixel-wise labels on our input images. The pixels corresponding to the "light pole" class are then reconstructed as 3D points. A three-dimensional clustr extraction method is applied to extract the clusters corresponding to the light poles. By computing the centroid of each cluster a position is predicted. This single-view pipeline is tested using images with color information, depth information and a combination of both. It is shown that better segmentations generally result in better clustering and world position estimates. Results show that a single-view pipeline using solely depth-information outperforms a pipeline with only color information. The pipeline performs best when operating on the combined representation, and correctly predicts the positions of 62% of all light poles within a 1.5 meter radius. Alternative depth representations have been explored but proved uneffectual due to limitations in the neural network architecture.

This is a schema of the single-view pipeline.

This is an image with its corresponding segmentation, as predicted by the pipeline oparting on the combined representation of color information and depth information.

Reprojection and Refocusing

Pixels are geometrically relatd to directions. Since our data consists of panoramic images, we have information in all directions. In our refocusing step, a new image is created for every object location predicted by the single-view pipeline. Then, the images are resampled in such a wat that the potentially interesting object is brought to the center of the view. Through this process, the views from multiple recording locarions are all focussed at the same object. The views therefore have a high amount of mutual information, and therefore a high correlation. How the pixel information from one view is related to that of another view is however not obvious. First a target view is chosen. Using the per-pixel depth information, the information from the other views can the first be reconstructed as 3D point clouds, and is then projected onto the target image. The result is that the information from multiple views, with varying relative positions, can then easily be correlated; every pixel in the target image is directly related to the same pixel in the reprojected image.

This image shows how refocusing an image could increase visibility, and improve segmentation. The images on the bottom are refocussed at the light pole, for which only the head is visible on the right side of the top images.

This image shows what it looks like when the information from a source image is reprojected to a target image. In our pipeline we don't reproject the actual images, but rather the predicted class probabilities.

The multi-view pipeline

In the multi-view pipeline, refocusing and reprojection are used to combine the predicted class probabilities over multiple recording locations. Two different methods for the actual combination of probabilities into a single segmentation are explored. The first method embeds a second neural network to learn the importance of each view. The second method simply sums the probabilities from the different views. While the second method generates segmentations that are visually more pleasing, the first method better predicts the positions of light poles. The multi-view pipeline, operating on color information only, correctly predicts 66\% of all light poles.

This is a schema of the multi-view pipeline.

These are segmentations, predicted by the multi-view pipeline. The segmentation on the left is generated by aggregating segmentations through an additional neural network, while the segmentation on the right is generated by simply summing the reprojected probabilities.

Future

The method is easily extensible to other types of street furniture objects and currently utilizes neural network architectures with relatively small computation and memory requirements. However, the pipeline does not dictate any specific neural network architecture and can in the future easily be updated with more modern networks for improved performance. The method will be productized by Cyclomedia to obtain data for remote inspection and inventory purposes, and will be extended with support for road markings.

Supervisors