12 March 2010 A modified ICP algorithm for normal-guided surface registration
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The iterative closest point (ICP) algorithm is probably the most popular algorithm for fine registration of surfaces. Among its key properties are: a simple minimization scheme, proofs of convergence as well as the easiness to modify and improve it in many ways (e.g. use of fuzzy point correspondences, incorporation of a priori knowledge, extensions to non-linear deformations, speed-up strategies, etc.) while keeping the desirable properties of the original method. However, most ICP-like registration methods suffer from the fact that they only consider the distance between the surfaces to register in the criterion to minimize, and thus are highly dependent on how the surfaces are aligned in the first place. This explains why these methods are likely to be trapped in local minima and to lead to erroneous solutions. A solution to partly alleviate this problem would consist in adding higher-order information in the criterion to minimize (e.g. normals, curvatures, etc.), but previous works along these research tracks have led to computationally intractable minimization schemes. In this paper, we propose a new way to include the point unit normals in addition to the point coordinates to derive an ICP-like scheme for non-linear registration of surfaces, and we show how to keep the properties of the original ICP algorithm. Our algorithm rests on a simple formula showing how the unit normal changes when a surface undergoes a small deformation. The use of this formula in an ICP-like algorithm is made possible by adequate implementation choices, most notably the use of a local, differentiable, parametrization of the surfaces and a locally affine deformation model using this local parametrization. Then we experimentally show the strong added value of using the unit normals in a series of controlled experiments.
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Daniel Münch, Benoît Combès, Sylvain Prima, "A modified ICP algorithm for normal-guided surface registration", Proc. SPIE 7623, Medical Imaging 2010: Image Processing, 76231A (12 March 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.844994; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.844994

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