Interpretable Edge Enhancement and Suppression Learning for 3D Point Cloud Segmentation

Haoyi Xiu, Xin Liu, Weimin Wang, Kyoung-Sook Kim, Takayuki Shinohara, Qiong Chang, Masashi Matsuoka

3D point clouds can flexibly represent continuous surfaces and can be used for various applications; however, the lack of structural information makes point cloud recognition challenging. Recent edge-aware methods mainly use edge information as an extra feature that describes local structures to facilitate learning. Although these methods show that incorporating edges into the network design is beneficial, they generally lack interpretability, making users wonder how exactly edges help. To shed light on this issue, in this study, we propose the Diffusion Unit (DU) that handles edges in an interpretable manner while providing decent improvement. Our method is interpretable in three ways. First, we theoretically show that DU learns to perform task-beneficial edge enhancement and suppression. Second, we experimentally observe and verify the edge enhancement and suppression behavior. Third, we empirically demonstrate that this behavior contributes to performance improvement. Extensive experiments performed on challenging benchmarks verify the superiority of DU in terms of both interpretability and performance gain. Specifically, our method achieves state-of-the-art performance in object part segmentation using ShapeNet part and scene segmentation using S3DIS. Our source code will be released at https://github.com/martianxiu/DiffusionUnit.

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