SEMANTIC LABELLING OF ULTRA DENSE MLS POINT CLOUDS IN URBAN ROAD CORRIDORS BASED ON FUSING CRF WITH SHAPE PRIORS
Keywords: Ultra dense MLS, urban road corridor, evidence fusion, object classification, probabilistic graph models
Abstract. In this paper, a labelling method for the semantic analysis of ultra-high point density MLS data (up to 4000 points/m2) in urban road corridors is developed based on combining a conditional random field (CRF) for the context-based classification of 3D point clouds with shape priors. The CRF uses a Random Forest (RF) for generating the unary potentials of nodes and a variant of the contrastsensitive Potts model for the pair-wise potentials of node edges. The foundations of the classification are various geometric features derived by means of co-variance matrices and local accumulation map of spatial coordinates based on local neighbourhoods. Meanwhile, in order to cope with the ultra-high point density, a plane-based region growing method combined with a rule-based classifier is applied to first fix semantic labels for man-made objects. Once such kind of points that usually account for majority of entire data amount are pre-labeled; the CRF classifier can be solved by optimizing the discriminative probability for nodes within a subgraph structure excluded from pre-labeled nodes. The process can be viewed as an evidence fusion step inferring a degree of belief for point labelling from different sources. The MLS data used for this study were acquired by vehicle-borne Z+F phase-based laser scanner measurement, which permits the generation of a point cloud with an ultra-high sampling rate and accuracy. The test sites are parts of Munich City which is assumed to consist of seven object classes including impervious surfaces, tree, building roof/facade, low vegetation, vehicle and pole. The competitive classification performance can be explained by the diverse factors: e.g. the above ground height highlights the vertical dimension of houses, trees even cars, but also attributed to decision-level fusion of graph-based contextual classification approach with shape priors. The use of context-based classification methods mainly contributed to smoothing of labelling by removing outliers and the improvement in underrepresented object classes. In addition, the routine operation of a context-based classification for such high density MLS data becomes much more efficient being comparable to non-contextual classification schemes.