ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume I-3
20 Jul 2012
 | 20 Jul 2012


A. Gressin, C. Mallet, and N. David

Keywords: point cloud, registration, ICP, improvement, eigenvalues, dimensionality, neighborhood

Abstract. Automatic 3D point cloud registration is a main issue in computer vision and photogrammetry. The most commonly adopted solution is the well-known ICP (Iterative Closest Point) algorithm. This standard approach performs a fine registration of two overlapping point clouds by iteratively estimating the transformation parameters, and assuming that good a priori alignment is provided. A large body of literature has proposed many variations of this algorithm in order to improve each step of the process. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate how the knowledge of the optimal neighborhood of each 3D point can improve the speed and the accuracy of each of these steps. We will first present the geometrical features that are the basis of this work. These low-level attributes describe the shape of the neighborhood of each 3D point, computed by combining the eigenvalues of the local structure tensor. Furthermore, they allow to retrieve the optimal size for analyzing the neighborhood as well as the privileged local dimension (linear, planar, or volumetric). Besides, several variations of each step of the ICP process are proposed and analyzed by introducing these features. These variations are then compared on real datasets, as well with the original algorithm in order to retrieve the most efficient algorithm for the whole process. Finally, the method is successfully applied to various 3D lidar point clouds both from airborne, terrestrial and mobile mapping systems.