The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLI-B3
09 Jun 2016
 | 09 Jun 2016


K. O. Dierenbach, M. Weinmann, and B. Jutzi

Keywords: LiDAR, Point Cloud, Object Reconstruction, Next-Best-View Problem, Growing Neural Gas

Abstract. This work describes an iterative algorithm for estimating optimal viewpoints, so called next-best-views (NBVs). The goal is to incrementally construct a topological network from the scene during the consecutive acquisition of several views. Our approach is a hybrid method between a surface-based and a volumetric approach with a continuous model space. Hence, a new scan taken from an optimal position should either cover as much as possible from the unknown object surface in one single scan, or densify the existing data and close possible gaps. Based on the point density, we recover the essential and structural information of a scene based on the Growing Neural Gas (GNG) algorithm. From the created graph representation of topological relations, the density of the point cloud at each network node is estimated by approximating the volume of Voronoi cells. The NBV Finder selects a network node as NBV, which has the lowest point density. Our NBV method is self-terminating when all regions reach a predefined minimum point density or the change of the GNG error is zero. For evaluation, we use a Buddha statue with a rather simple surface geometry but still some concave parts and the Stanford Dragon with a more complex object surface containing occluded and concave parts. We demonstrate that our NBV method outperforms a “naive random” approach relying on uniformly distributed sensor positions in terms of efficiency, i.e. our proposed method reaches a desired minimum point density up to 20% faster with less scans.