PointNetLK: Robust & Efficient Point Cloud Registration Using PointNet

Yasuhiro Aoki, Hunter Goforth, Rangaprasad Arun Srivatsan, Simon Lucey; The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2019, pp. 7163-7172


PointNet has revolutionized how we think about representing point clouds. For classification and segmentation tasks, the approach and its subsequent variants/extensions are considered state-of-the-art. To date, the successful application of PointNet to point cloud registration has remained elusive. In this paper we argue that PointNet itself can be thought of as a learnable "imaging" function. As a consequence, classical vision algorithms for image alignment can be brought to bear on the problem -- namely the Lucas & Kanade (LK) algorithm. Our central innovations stem from: (i) how to modify the LK algorithm to accommodate the PointNet imaging function, and (ii) unrolling PointNet and the LK algorithm into a single trainable recurrent deep neural network. We describe the architecture, and compare its performance against state-of-the-art in several common registration scenarios. The architecture offers some remarkable properties including: generalization across shape categories and computational efficiency -- opening up new paths of exploration for the application of deep learning to point cloud registration. Code and videos are available at https://github.com/hmgoforth/PointNetLK.

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[pdf] [supp]
author = {Aoki, Yasuhiro and Goforth, Hunter and Srivatsan, Rangaprasad Arun and Lucey, Simon},
title = {PointNetLK: Robust & Efficient Point Cloud Registration Using PointNet},
booktitle = {The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
month = {June},
year = {2019}