Robust Normal Vector Estimation in 3D Point Clouds through Iterative Principal Component Analysis

Publication
Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing

Abstract

This paper introduces a robust normal vector estimator for point cloud data. It can handle sharp features as well as smooth areas. Our method is based on the inclusion of a robust estimator into a Principal Component Analysis in the neighborhood of the studied point, so that it can detect and reject outliers automatically during the estimation. A projection process ensures robustness against noise. Two automatic initializations are computed, leading to independent optimizations making the algorithm robust to neighborhood anisotropy around sharp features. An evaluation has been carried out in which the algorithm is compared to state-of-the-art methods. The results show that it is more robust against low and/or non-uniform samplings, high noise levels and outliers. Moreover, our algorithm is fast relative to existing methods handling sharp features.

@article{sanchez20,
      author = {Julia Sanchez and Florence Denis and David Coeurjolly and Florent Dupont and Laurent Trassoudaine and Paul Checchin},
      doi = {10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2020.02.018},
      editor = {Elsevier},
      journal = {Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing},
      month = {May},
      pages = {18--35},
      title = {Robust Normal Vector Estimation in 3D Point Clouds through Iterative Principal Component Analysis},
      volume = {163},
      year = {2020}
}