DEM Extraction from ALS Point Clouds in Forest Areas via Graph Convolution Network
It is difficult to extract a digital elevation model (DEM) from an airborne laser scanning (ALS) point cloud in a forest area because of the irregular and uneven distribution of ground and vegetation points. Machine learning, especially deep learning methods, has shown powerful feature extraction in accomplishing point cloud classification. However, most of the existing deep learning frameworks, such as PointNet, dynamic graph convolutional neural network (DGCNN), and SparseConvNet, cannot
... onvNet, cannot consider the particularity of ALS point clouds. For large-scene laser point clouds, the current data preprocessing methods are mostly based on random sampling, which is not suitable for DEM extraction tasks. In this study, we propose a novel data sampling algorithm for the data preparation of patch-based training and classification named T-Sampling. T-Sampling uses the set of the lowest points in a certain area as basic points with other points added to supplement it, which can guarantee the integrity of the terrain in the sampling area. In the learning part, we propose a new convolution model based on terrain named Tin-EdgeConv that fully considers the spatial relationship between ground and non-ground points when constructing a directed graph. We design a new network based on Tin-EdgeConv to extract local features and use PointNet architecture to extract global context information. Finally, we combine this information effectively with a designed attention fusion module. These aspects are important in achieving high classification accuracy. We evaluate the proposed method by using large-scale data from forest areas. Results show that our method is more accurate than existing algorithms.