Artificial Intelligence Review

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 403–425 | Cite as

Buried pipe localization using an iterative geometric clustering on GPR data

  • Ruth JanningEmail author
  • Andre Busche
  • Tomáš Horváth
  • Lars Schmidt-Thieme


Ground penetrating radar is a non-destructive method to scan the shallow subsurface for detecting buried objects like pipes, cables, ducts and sewers. Such buried objects cause hyperbola shaped reflections in the radargram images achieved by GPR. Originally, those radargram images were interpreted manually by human experts in an expensive and time consuming process. For an acceleration of this process an automatization of the radargram interpretation is desirable. In this paper an efficient approach for hyperbola recognition and pipe localization in radargrams is presented. The core of our approach is an iterative directed shape-based clustering algorithm combined with a sweep line algorithm using geometrical background knowledge. Different to recent state of the art methods, our algorithm is able to ignore background noise and to recognize multiple intersecting or nearby hyperbolas in radargram images without prior knowledge about the number of hyperbolas or buried pipes. The whole approach is able to deliver pipe position estimates with an error of only a few millimeters, as shown in the experiments with two different data sets.


Ground penetrating radar (GPR) Object detection Hyperbola recognition Clustering Sweep line algorithm 



This work is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund project AcoGPR (Adaptive Contactless Ground Penetrating Radar) under the Grant Agreement No. WA3 80122470 (Project webpage:


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth Janning
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andre Busche
    • 1
  • Tomáš Horváth
    • 2
  • Lars Schmidt-Thieme
    • 1
  1. 1.Information Systems and Machine Learning LabUniversity of HildesheimHildesheimGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Science, Institute of Computer SciencePavol Jozef Šafárik University in KošiceKosiceSlovakia

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