Are We Hungry for 3D LiDAR Data for Semantic Segmentation? A Survey and Experimental Study

Biao Gao, Yancheng Pan, Chengkun Li, Sibo Geng, Huijing Zhao

3D semantic segmentation is a fundamental task for robotic and autonomous driving applications. Recent works have been focused on using deep learning techniques, whereas developing fine-annotated 3D LiDAR datasets is extremely labor intensive and requires professional skills. The performance limitation caused by insufficient datasets is called data hunger problem. This research provides a comprehensive survey and experimental study on the question: are we hungry for 3D LiDAR data for semantic segmentation? The studies are conducted at three levels. First, a broad review to the main 3D LiDAR datasets is conducted, followed by a statistical analysis on three representative datasets to gain an in-depth view on the datasets' size and diversity, which are the critical factors in learning deep models. Second, a systematic review to the state-of-the-art 3D semantic segmentation is conducted, followed by experiments and cross examinations of three representative deep learning methods to find out how the size and diversity of the datasets affect deep models' performance. Finally, a systematic survey to the existing efforts to solve the data hunger problem is conducted on both methodological and dataset's viewpoints, followed by an insightful discussion of remaining problems and open questions To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work to analyze the data hunger problem for 3D semantic segmentation using deep learning techniques that are addressed in the literature review, statistical analysis, and cross-dataset and cross-algorithm experiments. We share findings and discussions, which may lead to potential topics in future works.

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