BlinkFlow: A Dataset to Push the Limits of Event-based Optical Flow Estimation

14 Mar 2023  ·  Yijin Li, Zhaoyang Huang, Shuo Chen, Xiaoyu Shi, Hongsheng Li, Hujun Bao, Zhaopeng Cui, Guofeng Zhang ·

Event cameras provide high temporal precision, low data rates, and high dynamic range visual perception, which are well-suited for optical flow estimation. While data-driven optical flow estimation has obtained great success in RGB cameras, its generalization performance is seriously hindered in event cameras mainly due to the limited and biased training data. In this paper, we present a novel simulator, BlinkSim, for the fast generation of large-scale data for event-based optical flow. BlinkSim consists of a configurable rendering engine and a flexible engine for event data simulation. By leveraging the wealth of current 3D assets, the rendering engine enables us to automatically build up thousands of scenes with different objects, textures, and motion patterns and render very high-frequency images for realistic event data simulation. Based on BlinkSim, we construct a large training dataset and evaluation benchmark BlinkFlow that contains sufficient, diversiform, and challenging event data with optical flow ground truth. Experiments show that BlinkFlow improves the generalization performance of state-of-the-art methods by more than 40% on average and up to 90%. Moreover, we further propose an Event optical Flow transFormer (E-FlowFormer) architecture. Powered by our BlinkFlow, E-FlowFormer outperforms the SOTA methods by up to 91% on MVSEC dataset and 14% on DSEC dataset and presents the best generalization performance.

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