Will it last? Learning Stable Features for Long-Term Visual Localization


An increasing number of simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) systems are using appearance-based localization to improve the quality of pose estimates. However, with the growing time-spans and size of the areas we want to cover, appearance-based maps are often becoming too large to handle and are consisting of features that are not always reliable for localization purposes. This paper presents a method for selecting map features that are persistent over time and thus suited for long-term localization. Our methodology relies on a CNN classifier based on image patches and depth maps for recognizing which features are suitable for life-long matchability. Thus, the classifier not only considers the appearance of a feature but also takes into account its expected lifetime. As a result, our feature selection approach produces more compact maps with a high fraction of temporally-stable features compared to the current state-of-the-art, while rejecting unstable features that typically harm localization. Our approach is validated on indoor and outdoor datasets, that span over a period of several months.

In International Conference on 3D Vision (3DV)