International Journal of Computer Vision

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 63–85 | Cite as

Point Signatures: A New Representation for 3D Object Recognition

  • Chin Seng Chua
  • Ray Jarvis


Few systems capable of recognizing complex objects with free-form (sculptured) surfaces have been developed. The apparent lack of success is mainly due to the lack of a competent modelling scheme for representing such complex objects. In this paper, a new form of point representation for describing 3D free-form surfaces is proposed. This representation, which we call the point signature, serves to describe the structural neighbourhood of a point in a more complete manner than just using the 3D coordinates of the point. Being invariant to rotation and translation, the point signature can be used directly to hypothesize the correspondence to model points with similar signatures. Recognition is achieved by matching the signatures of data points representing the sensed surface to the signatures of data points representing the model surface.

The use of point signatures is not restricted to the recognition of a single-object scene to a small library of models. Instead, it can be extended naturally to the recognition of scenes containing multiple partially-overlapping objects (which may also be juxtaposed with each other) against a large model library. No preliminary phase of segmenting the scene into the component objects is required. In searching for the appropriate candidate model, recognition need not proceed in a linear order which can become prohibitive for a large model library. For a given scene, signatures are extracted at arbitrarily spaced seed points. Each of these signatures is used to vote for models that contain points having similar signatures. Inappropriate models with low votes can be rejected while the remaining candidate models are ordered according to the votes they received. In this way, efficient verification of the hypothesized candidates can proceed by testing the most likely model first. Experiments using real data obtained from a range finder have shown fast recognition from a library of fifteen models whose complexities vary from that of simple piecewise quadric shapes to complicated face masks. Results from the recognition of both single-object and multiple-object scenes are presented.

3D object recognition model indexing feature extraction free-form surface registrataion pose estimation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chin Seng Chua
    • 1
  • Ray Jarvis
    • 2
  1. 1.Signal Processing LaboratoryDefence Science OrganisationSingapore
  2. 2.Intelligent Robotics Research Centre, Department of Electrical and Computer Systems EngineeringMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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