Vector Semantic Representations as Descriptors for Visual Place Recognition

Peer Neubert (TU Chemnitz),
Stefan Schubert (TU Chemnitz),
Kenny Schlegel (TU Chemnitz),
Peter Protzel (TU Chemnitz)
Paper Website
Paper #083
Interactive Poster Session I Interactive Poster Session IV

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Place recognition is the task of recognizing the current scene from a database of known places. The currently dominant algorithmic paradigm is to use (deep learning based) holistic feature vectors to describe each place and use fast vector query methods to find matchings. We propose a novel type of image descriptor, Vector Semantic Representations (VSR), that encodes the spatial semantic layout from a semantic segmentation together with appearance properties in a, for example, 4,096 dimensional vector for place recognition. We leverage operations from the established class of Vector Symbolic Architectures to combine symbolic (e.g. class label) and numeric (e.g. feature map response) information in a common vector representation. We evaluate the proposed semantic descriptor on 13 standard mobile robotic place recognition datasets and compare to six descriptors from the literature. VSR is on par with the best compared descriptor (NetVLAD) in terms of mean average precision and superior in terms of recall and worst-case average precision. This makes the approach particularly interesting for candidate selection. For a more detailed investigation, we discuss and evaluate recall integrity as additional criterion. Further, we demonstrate that the semantic descriptor is particularly well suited for combination with existing appearance descriptors indicating that semantics provide complementary information for image matching.

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