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A Dynamical Perspective on Point Cloud Registration

by   Heng Yang, et al.

We provide a dynamical perspective on the classical problem of 3D point cloud registration with correspondences. A point cloud is considered as a rigid body consisting of particles. The problem of registering two point clouds is formulated as a dynamical system, where the dynamic model point cloud translates and rotates in a viscous environment towards the static scene point cloud, under forces and torques induced by virtual springs placed between each pair of corresponding points. We first show that the potential energy of the system recovers the objective function of the maximum likelihood estimation. We then adopt Lyapunov analysis, particularly the invariant set theorem, to analyze the rigid body dynamics and show that the system globally asymptotically tends towards the set of equilibrium points, where the globally optimal registration solution lies in. We conjecture that, besides the globally optimal equilibrium point, the system has either three or infinite "spurious" equilibrium points, and these spurious equilibria are all locally unstable. The case of three spurious equilibria corresponds to generic shape of the point cloud, while the case of infinite spurious equilibria happens when the point cloud exhibits symmetry. Therefore, simulating the dynamics with random perturbations guarantees to obtain the globally optimal registration solution. Numerical experiments support our analysis and conjecture.


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