Real-Time Visibility-Based Fusion of Depth Maps

P. Merrell, A. Akbarzadeh, Liang Wang, P. Mordohai, J. M. Frahm, Ruigang Yang, D. Nister, M. Pollefeys
Department of Computer Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA
Computer Vision, 2007. ICCV 2007. IEEE 11th International Conference on (21 October 2007), pp. 1-8


   title={Real-time visibility-based fusion of depth maps},

   author={Merrell, P. and Akbarzadeh, A. and Wang, L. and Mordohai, P. and Frahm, J.M. and Yang, R. and Nist{‘e}r, D. and Pollefeys, M.},

   booktitle={Computer Vision, 2007. ICCV 2007. IEEE 11th International Conference on},






We present a viewpoint-based approach for the quick fusion of multiple stereo depth maps. Our method selects depth estimates for each pixel that minimize violations of visibility constraints and thus remove errors and inconsistencies from the depth maps to produce a consistent surface. We advocate a two-stage process in which the first stage generates potentially noisy, overlapping depth maps from a set of calibrated images and the second stage fuses these depth maps to obtain an integrated surface with higher accuracy, suppressed noise, and reduced redundancy. We show that by dividing the processing into two stages we are able to achieve a very high throughput because we are able to use a computationally cheap stereo algorithm and because this architecture is amenable to hardware-accelerated (GPU) implementations. A rigorous formulation based on the notion of stability of a depth estimate is presented first. It aims to determine the validity of a depth estimate by rendering multiple depth maps into the reference view as well as rendering the reference depth map into the other views in order to detect occlusions and free-space violations. We also present an approximate alternative formulation that selects and validates only one hypothesis based on confidence. Both formulations enable us to perform video-based reconstruction at up to 25 frames per second. We show results on the multi-view stereo evaluation benchmark datasets and several outdoors video sequences. Extensive quantitative analysis is performed using an accurately surveyed model of a real building as ground truth.
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