Efficient coarse registration method using translation- and rotation-invariant local descriptors towards fully automated forest inventory

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A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
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ISPRS Open Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Volume 2
In this paper, we present a simple, efficient, and robust algorithm for 2D coarse registration of two point clouds. In the proposed algorithm, the locations of some distinct objects are detected from the point cloud data, and a rotation- and translation-invariant feature descriptor vector is computed for each of the detected objects based on the relative locations of the neighboring objects. Subsequently, the feature descriptors obtained for the different point clouds are compared against one another by using the Euclidean distance in the feature space as the similarity criterion. By using the nearest neighbor distance ratio, the most promising matching object pairs are found and further used to fit the optimal Euclidean transformation between the two point clouds. Importantly, the time complexity of the proposed algorithm scales quadratically in the number of objects detected from the point clouds. We demonstrate the proposed algorithm in the context of forest inventory by performing coarse registration between terrestrial and airborne point clouds. To this end, we use trees as the objects and perform the coarse registration by using no other information than the locations of the detected trees. We evaluate the performance of the algorithm using both simulations and three test sites located in a boreal forest. We show that the algorithm is fast and performs well for a large range of stem densities and for test sites with up to 10 ​000 trees. Additionally, we show that the algorithm works reliably even in the case of moderate errors in the tree locations, commission and omission errors in the tree detection, and partial overlap of the data sets. We also demonstrate that additional tree attributes can be incorporated into the proposed feature descriptor to improve the robustness of the registration algorithm provided that reliable information of these additional tree attributes is available. Furthermore, we show that the registration accuracy between the terrestrial and airborne point clouds can be significantly improved if stem positions estimated from the terrestrial data are matched to stem positions obtained from the airborne data instead of matching them to tree top positions estimated from the airborne data. Even though the 2D coarse registration algorithm is demonstrated in the context of forestry, the algorithm is not restricted to forest data and it may potentially be utilized in other applications, in which efficient 2D point set registration is needed.
Point cloud registration, Coarse registration, Airborne laser scanning, Mobile laser scanning, Handheld laser scanning, Individual tree detection
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Hyyppä, E, Muhojoki, J, Yu, X, Kukko, A, Kaartinen, H & Hyyppä, J 2021, ' Efficient coarse registration method using translation- and rotation-invariant local descriptors towards fully automated forest inventory ', ISPRS Open Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, vol. 2, 100007 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ophoto.2021.100007