Geometry-Aware Learning of Maps for Camera Localization

Maps are a key component in image-based camera localization and visual SLAM systems: they are used to establish geometric constraints between images, correct drift in relative pose estimation, and relocalize cameras after lost tracking. The exact definitions of maps, however, are often application-specific and hand-crafted for different scenarios (e.g., 3D landmarks, lines, planes, bags of visual words). We propose to represent maps as a deep neural net called MapNet, which enables learning a data-driven map representation. Unlike prior work on learning maps, MapNet exploits cheap and ubiquitous sensory inputs like visual odometry and GPS in addition to images and fuses them together for camera localization. Geometric constraints expressed by these inputs, which have traditionally been used in bundle adjustment or pose-graph optimization, are formulated as loss terms in MapNet training and also used during inference. In addition to directly improving localization accuracy, this allows us to update the MapNet (i.e., maps) in a self-supervised manner using additional unlabeled video sequences from the scene. We also propose a novel parameterization for camera rotation which is better suited for deep-learning based camera pose regression. Experimental results on both the indoor 7-Scenes dataset and the outdoor Oxford RobotCar dataset show significant performance improvement over prior work.

Authors: 
Samarth Brahmbhatt (Georgia Tech)
Jinwei Gu (NVIDIA)
James Hays (Georgia Tech)
Publication Date: 
Monday, June 18, 2018