ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume III-3
03 Jun 2016
 | 03 Jun 2016


Xiaohu Lu, Jian Yao, Jinge Tu, Kai Li, Li Li, and Yahui Liu

Keywords: Pairwise Linkage, Clustering, Point Cloud Segmentation, Slice Merging

Abstract. In this paper, we first present a novel hierarchical clustering algorithm named Pairwise Linkage (P-Linkage), which can be used for clustering any dimensional data, and then effectively apply it on 3D unstructured point cloud segmentation. The P-Linkage clustering algorithm first calculates a feature value for each data point, for example, the density for 2D data points and the flatness for 3D point clouds. Then for each data point a pairwise linkage is created between itself and its closest neighboring point with a greater feature value than its own. The initial clusters can further be discovered by searching along the linkages in a simple way. After that, a cluster merging procedure is applied to obtain the finally refined clustering result, which can be designed for specialized applications. Based on the P-Linkage clustering, we develop an efficient segmentation algorithm for 3D unstructured point clouds, in which the flatness of the estimated surface of a 3D point is used as its feature value. For each initial cluster a slice is created, then a novel and robust slicemerging method is proposed to get the final segmentation result. The proposed P-Linkage clustering and 3D point cloud segmentation algorithms require only one input parameter in advance. Experimental results on different dimensional synthetic data from 2D to 4D sufficiently demonstrate the efficiency and robustness of the proposed P-Linkage clustering algorithm and a large amount of experimental results on the Vehicle-Mounted, Aerial and Stationary Laser Scanner point clouds illustrate the robustness and efficiency of our proposed 3D point cloud segmentation algorithm.