Hierarchical Normal Space Sampling to speed up point cloud coarse matching

Yago Diez, Joan Martí, Joaquim Salvi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Point cloud matching is a central problem in Object Modeling with applications in Computer Vision and Computer Graphics. Although the problem is well studied in the case when an initial estimate of the relative pose is known (fine matching), the problem becomes much more difficult when this a priori knowledge is not available (coarse matching). In this paper we introduce a novel technique to speed up coarse matching algorithms for point clouds. This new technique, called Hierarchical Normal Space Sampling (HNSS), extends Normal Space Sampling by grouping points hierarchically according to the distribution of their normal vectors. This hierarchy guides the search for corresponding points while staying free of user intervention. This permits to navigate through the huge search space taking advantage of geometric information and to stop when a sufficiently good initial pose is found. This initial pose can then be used as the starting point for any fine matching algorithm. Hierarchical Normal Space Sampling is adaptable to different searching strategies and shape descriptors. To illustrate HNSS, we present experiments using both synthetic and real data that show the computational complexity of the problem, the computation time reduction obtained by HNSS and the application potentials in combination with ICP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2127-2133
Number of pages7
JournalPattern Recognition Letters
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec 1


  • Coarse point cloud matching
  • Data Structures
  • Hierarchical algorithms
  • Normal space sampling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Artificial Intelligence


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