An Improved RANSAC Outlier Rejection Method for UAV-Derived Point Cloud
A common problem with matching algorithms, in photogrammetry and computer vision, is the imperfection of finding all correct corresponding points, so-called inliers, and, thus, resulting in incorrect or mismatched points, so-called outliers. Many algorithms, including the well-known randomized random sample consensus (RANSAC)-based matching, have been developed focusing on the reduction of outliers. RANSAC-based methods, however, have limitations such as increased false positive rates of
... s, and, consequently resulting in fewer inliers, an unnecessary high number of iterations, and high computational time. Such deficiencies possibly result from the random sampling process, the presence of noise, and incorrect assumptions of the initial values. This paper proposes a modified version of RANSAC-based methods, called Empowered Locally Iterative SAmple Consensus (ELISAC). ELISAC improves RANSAC by utilizing three basic modifications individually or in combination. These three modifications are (a) to increase the stability and number of inliers using two Locally Iterative Least Squares (LILS) loops (Basic LILS and Aggregated-LILS), based on the new inliers in each loop, (b) to improve the convergence rate and consequently reduce the number of iterations using a similarity termination criterion, and (c) to remove any possible outliers at the end of the processing loop and increase the reliability of results using a post-processing procedure. In order to validate our proposed method, a comprehensive experimental analysis has been done on two datasets. The first dataset contains the commonly-used computer vision image pairs on which the state-of-the-art RANSAC-based methods have been evaluated. The second dataset image pairs were captured by a drone over a forested area with various rotations, scales, and baselines (from short to wide). The results show that ELISAC finds more inliers with a faster speed (lower computational time) and lower error (outlier) rates compared to M-estimator SAmple Consensus (MSAC). This makes ELISAC an effective approach for image matching and, consequently, for 3D information extraction of very high and super high-resolution imagery acquired by space-borne, airborne, or UAV sensors. In particular, for applications such as forest 3D modeling and tree height estimations where standard matching algorithms are problematic due to spectral and textural similarity of objects (e.g., trees) on image pairs, ELISAC can significantly outperform the standard matching algorithms.