Registration of Point Cloud Data (PCD) forms a core component of many 3D vision algorithms such as object matching and environment reconstruction. In this paper, we
introduce a PCD registration algorithm that utilizes Gaussian Mixture Models (GMM) and a novel dual-mode parameter optimization technique which we call mixture decoupling. We show how this decoupling technique facilitates both faster and more robust registration by first optimizing over the mixture parameters (decoupling the mixture weights, means, and covariances from the points) before optimizing over the 6DOF registration parameters.
Furthermore, we frame both the decoupling and registration process inside a unified, dual-mode Expectation Maximization (EM) framework, for which we derive a Maximum
Likelihood Estimation (MLE) solution along with a parallel implementation on the GPU. We evaluate our MLE-based mixture decoupling (MLMD) registration method over both synthetic and real data, showing better convergence for a wider range of initial conditions and higher speeds than previous state of the art methods.
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