AE-GAN-Net: Learning Invariant Feature Descriptor to Match Ground Camera Images and a Large-Scale 3D Image-Based Point Cloud for Outdoor Augmented Reality
Establishing the spatial relationship between 2D images captured by real cameras and 3D models of the environment (2D and 3D space) is one way to achieve the virtual–real registration for Augmented Reality (AR) in outdoor environments. In this paper, we propose to match the 2D images captured by real cameras and the rendered images from the 3D image-based point cloud to indirectly establish the spatial relationship between 2D and 3D space. We call these two kinds of images as cross-domain
... , because their imaging mechanisms and nature are quite different. However, unlike real camera images, the rendered images from the 3D image-based point cloud are inevitably contaminated with image distortion, blurred resolution, and obstructions, which makes image matching with the handcrafted descriptors or existing feature learning neural networks very challenging. Thus, we first propose a novel end-to-end network, AE-GAN-Net, consisting of two AutoEncoders (AEs) with Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) embedding, to learn invariant feature descriptors for cross-domain image matching. Second, a domain-consistent loss function, which balances image content and consistency of feature descriptors for cross-domain image pairs, is introduced to optimize AE-GAN-Net. AE-GAN-Net effectively captures domain-specific information, which is embedded into the learned feature descriptors, thus making the learned feature descriptors robust against image distortion, variations in viewpoints, spatial resolutions, rotation, and scaling. Experimental results show that AE-GAN-Net achieves state-of-the-art performance for image patch retrieval with the cross-domain image patch dataset, which is built from real camera images and the rendered images from 3D image-based point cloud. Finally, by evaluating virtual–real registration for AR on a campus by using the cross-domain image matching results, we demonstrate the feasibility of applying the proposed virtual–real registration to AR in outdoor environments.