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Wide-baseline keypoint detection and matching with wide-angle images for vision based localisation

Hansen, Peter Ian (2010) Wide-baseline keypoint detection and matching with wide-angle images for vision based localisation. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

This thesis addresses the problem of detecting and describing the same scene points in different wide-angle images taken by the same camera at different viewpoints. This is a core competency of many vision-based localisation tasks including visual odometry and visual place recognition. Wide-angle cameras have a large field of view that can exceed a full hemisphere, and the images they produce contain severe radial distortion. When compared to traditional narrow field of view perspective cameras, more accurate estimates of camera egomotion can be found using the images obtained with wide-angle cameras. The ability to accurately estimate camera egomotion is a fundamental primitive of visual odometry, and this is one of the reasons for the increased popularity in the use of wide-angle cameras for this task. Their large field of view also enables them to capture images of the same regions in a scene taken at very different viewpoints, and this makes them suited for visual place recognition. However, the ability to estimate the camera egomotion and recognise the same scene in two different images is dependent on the ability to reliably detect and describe the same scene points, or ‘keypoints’, in the images. Most algorithms used for this purpose are designed almost exclusively for perspective images. Applying algorithms designed for perspective images directly to wide-angle images is problematic as no account is made for the image distortion. The primary contribution of this thesis is the development of two novel keypoint detectors, and a method of keypoint description, designed for wide-angle images. Both reformulate the Scale- Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT) as an image processing operation on the sphere. As the image captured by any central projection wide-angle camera can be mapped to the sphere, applying these variants to an image on the sphere enables keypoints to be detected in a manner that is invariant to image distortion. Each of the variants is required to find the scale-space representation of an image on the sphere, and they differ in the approaches they used to do this. Extensive experiments using real and synthetically generated wide-angle images are used to validate the two new keypoint detectors and the method of keypoint description. The best of these two new keypoint detectors is applied to vision based localisation tasks including visual odometry and visual place recognition using outdoor wide-angle image sequences. As part of this work, the effect of keypoint coordinate selection on the accuracy of egomotion estimates using the Direct Linear Transform (DLT) is investigated, and a simple weighting scheme is proposed which attempts to account for the uncertainty of keypoint positions during detection. A word reliability metric is also developed for use within a visual ‘bag of words’ approach to place recognition.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 37667
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Boles, Wageeh& Corke, Peter
Keywords: image processing, computer vision, keypoints, feaures, wide-angle, fisheye, catadioptric, scale-space, scale-invariant, wide-baseline, spherical diffusion, spherical Gaussian, visual odometry, localisation, visual SLAM, place recognition, loop-closure
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Engineering Systems
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 30 Sep 2010 16:22
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2011 06:00

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