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PointTree: Transformation-Robust Point Cloud Encoder with Relaxed K-D Trees

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Computer Vision – ECCV 2022 (ECCV 2022)

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Being able to learn an effective semantic representation directly on raw point clouds has become a central topic in 3D understanding. Despite rapid progress, state-of-the-art encoders are restrictive to canonicalized point clouds, and have weaker than necessary performance when encountering geometric transformation distortions. To overcome this challenge, we propose PointTree, a general-purpose point cloud encoder that is robust to transformations based on relaxed K-D trees. Key to our approach is the design of the division rule in K-D trees by using principal component analysis (PCA). We use the structure of the relaxed K-D tree as our computational graph, and model the features as border descriptors which are merged with pointwise-maximum operation. In addition to this novel architecture design, we further improve the robustness by introducing pre-alignment – a simple yet effective PCA-based normalization scheme. Our PointTree encoder combined with pre-alignment consistently outperforms state-of-the-art methods by large margins, for applications from object classification to semantic segmentation on various transformed versions of the widely-benchmarked datasets. Code and pre-trained models are available at

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This work was supported in part by NSF Grant 2106825, the Jump ARCHES endowment through the Health Care Engineering Systems Center, the New Frontiers Initiative, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign through the NCSA Fellows program, and the IBM-Illinois Discovery Accelerator Institute.

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Correspondence to Jun-Kun Chen .

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Chen, JK., Wang, YX. (2022). PointTree: Transformation-Robust Point Cloud Encoder with Relaxed K-D Trees. In: Avidan, S., Brostow, G., Cissé, M., Farinella, G.M., Hassner, T. (eds) Computer Vision – ECCV 2022. ECCV 2022. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 13663. Springer, Cham.

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