Semantic Segmentation of Radar Detections using Convolutions on Point Clouds

Marco Braun, Alessandro Cennamo, Markus Schoeler, Kevin Kollek, Anton Kummert

For autonomous driving, radar sensors provide superior reliability regardless of weather conditions as well as a significantly high detection range. State-of-the-art algorithms for environment perception based on radar scans build up on deep neural network architectures that can be costly in terms of memory and computation. By processing radar scans as point clouds, however, an increase in efficiency can be achieved in this respect. While Convolutional Neural Networks show superior performance on pattern recognition of regular data formats like images, the concept of convolutions is not yet fully established in the domain of radar detections represented as point clouds. The main challenge in convolving point clouds lies in their irregular and unordered data format and the associated permutation variance. Therefore, we apply a deep-learning based method introduced by PointCNN that weights and permutes grouped radar detections allowing the resulting permutation invariant cluster to be convolved. In addition, we further adapt this algorithm to radar-specific properties through distance-dependent clustering and pre-processing of input point clouds. Finally, we show that our network outperforms state-of-the-art approaches that are based on PointNet++ on the task of semantic segmentation of radar point clouds.

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