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PointNet++: Deep Hierarchical Feature Learning on Point Sets in a Metric Space

Neural Information Processing Systems

Few prior works study deep learning on point sets. PointNet [20] is a pioneer in this direction. However, by design PointNet does not capture local structures induced by the metric space points live in, limiting its ability to recognize fine-grained patterns and generalizability to complex scenes. In this work, we introduce a hierarchical neural network that applies PointNet recursively on a nested partitioning of the input point set. By exploiting metric space distances, our network is able to learn local features with increasing contextual scales. With further observation that point sets are usually sampled with varying densities, which results in greatly decreased performance for networks trained on uniform densities, we propose novel set learning layers to adaptively combine features from multiple scales. Experiments show that our network called PointNet is able to learn deep point set features efficiently and robustly. In particular, results significantly better than state-of-the-art have been obtained on challenging benchmarks of 3D point clouds.


2D Car Detection in Radar Data with PointNets

arXiv.org Machine Learning

For many automated driving functions, a highly accurate perception of the vehicle environment is a crucial prerequisite. Modern high-resolution radar sensors generate multiple radar targets per object, which makes these sensors particularly suitable for the 2D object detection task. This work presents an approach to detect object hypotheses solely depending on sparse radar data using PointNets. In literature, only methods are presented so far which perform either object classification or bounding box estimation for objects. In contrast, this method facilitates a classification together with a bounding box estimation of objects using a single radar sensor. To this end, PointNets are adjusted for radar data performing 2D object classification with segmentation, and 2D bounding box regression in order to estimate an amodal bounding box. The algorithm is evaluated using an automatically created dataset which consist of various realistic driving maneuvers. The results show the great potential of object detection in high-resolution radar data using PointNets.


PointShuffleNet: Learning Non-Euclidean Features with Homotopy Equivalence and Mutual Information

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Point cloud analysis is still a challenging task due to the disorder and sparsity of samplings of their geometric structures from 3D sensors. In this paper, we introduce the homotopy equivalence relation (HER) to make the neural networks learn the data distribution from a high-dimension manifold. A shuffle operation is adopted to construct HER for its randomness and zero-parameter. In addition, inspired by prior works, we propose a local mutual information regularizer (LMIR) to cut off the trivial path that leads to a classification error from HER. LMIR utilizes mutual information to measure the distance between the original feature and HER transformed feature and learns common features in a contrastive learning scheme. Thus, we combine HER and LMIR to give our model the ability to learn non-Euclidean features from a high-dimension manifold. This is named the non-Euclidean feature learner. Furthermore, we propose a new heuristics and efficiency point sampling algorithm named ClusterFPS to obtain approximate uniform sampling but at faster speed. ClusterFPS uses a cluster algorithm to divide a point cloud into several clusters and deploy the farthest point sampling algorithm on each cluster in parallel. By combining the above methods, we propose a novel point cloud analysis neural network called PointShuffleNet (PSN), which shows great promise in point cloud classification and segmentation. Extensive experiments show that our PSN achieves state-of-the-art results on ModelNet40, ShapeNet and S3DIS with high efficiency. Theoretically, we provide mathematical analysis toward understanding of what the data distribution HER has developed and why LMIR can drop the trivial path by maximizing mutual information implicitly.


Extending Adversarial Attacks and Defenses to Deep 3D Point Cloud Classifiers

arXiv.org Machine Learning

3D object classification and segmentation using deep neural networks has been extremely successful. As the problem of identifying 3D objects has many safety-critical applications, the neural networks have to be robust against adversarial changes to the input data set. There is a growing body of research on generating human-imperceptible adversarial attacks and defenses against them in the 2D image classification domain. However, 3D objects have various differences with 2D images, and this specific domain has not been rigorously studied so far. We present a preliminary evaluation of adversarial attacks on deep 3D point cloud classifiers, namely PointNet and PointNet++, by evaluating both white-box and black-box adversarial attacks that were proposed for 2D images and extending those attacks to reduce the perceptibility of the perturbations in 3D space. We also show the high effectiveness of simple defenses against those attacks by proposing new defenses that exploit the unique structure of 3D point clouds. Finally, we attempt to explain the effectiveness of the defenses through the intrinsic structures of both the point clouds and the neural network architectures. Overall, we find that networks that process 3D point cloud data are weak to adversarial attacks, but they are also more easily defensible compared to 2D image classifiers. Our investigation will provide the groundwork for future studies on improving the robustness of deep neural networks that handle 3D data.


3D Object Recognition with Ensemble Learning --- A Study of Point Cloud-Based Deep Learning Models

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In this study, we present an analysis of model-based ensemble learning for 3D point-cloud object classification and detection. An ensemble of multiple model instances is known to outperform a single model instance, but there is little study of the topic of ensemble learning for 3D point clouds. First, an ensemble of multiple model instances trained on the same part of the $\textit{ModelNet40}$ dataset was tested for seven deep learning, point cloud-based classification algorithms: $\textit{PointNet}$, $\textit{PointNet++}$, $\textit{SO-Net}$, $\textit{KCNet}$, $\textit{DeepSets}$, $\textit{DGCNN}$, and $\textit{PointCNN}$. Second, the ensemble of different architectures was tested. Results of our experiments show that the tested ensemble learning methods improve over state-of-the-art on the $\textit{ModelNet40}$ dataset, from $92.65\%$ to $93.64\%$ for the ensemble of single architecture instances, $94.03\%$ for two different architectures, and $94.15\%$ for five different architectures. We show that the ensemble of two models with different architectures can be as effective as the ensemble of 10 models with the same architecture. Third, a study on classic bagging i.e. with different subsets used for training multiple model instances) was tested and sources of ensemble accuracy growth were investigated for best-performing architecture, i.e. $\textit{SO-Net}$. We also investigate the ensemble learning of $\textit{Frustum PointNet}$ approach in the task of 3D object detection, increasing the average precision of 3D box detection on the $\textit{KITTI}$ dataset from $63.1\%$ to $66.5\%$ using only three model instances. We measure the inference time of all 3D classification architectures on a $\textit{Nvidia Jetson TX2}$, a common embedded computer for mobile robots, to allude to the use of these models in real-life applications.