Spatially sensitive statistical shape analysis for pedestrian recognition from LIDAR data
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Range-based pedestrian recognition is instrumental towards the development of autonomous driving and driving assistance systems. This work introduces encoding methods for pedestrian recognition, based on statistical shape analysis of 3D LIDAR data. The proposed approach has two variants, based on the encoding of local shape descriptors either in a spatially agnostic or spatially sensitive fashion. The latter method derives more detailed cues, by enriching the ‘gross’ information reflected by overall statistics of local shape descriptors, with ‘fine-grained’ information reflected by statistics associated with spatial clusters. Experiments on artificial LIDAR datasets, which include challenging samples, as well as on a large scale dataset of real LIDAR data, lead to the conclusion that both variants of the proposed approach (i) obtain high recognition accuracy, (ii) are robust against low-resolution sampling, (iii) are robust against increasing distance, and (iv) are robust against non-standard shapes and poses. On the other hand, the spatially-sensitive variant is more robust against partial occlusion and bad clustering.