Contrastive Embedding Distribution Refinement and Entropy-Aware Attention for 3D Point Cloud Classification

27 Jan 2022  ·  Feng Yang, Yichao Cao, Qifan Xue, Shuai Jin, Xuanpeng Li, Weigong Zhang ·

Learning a powerful representation from point clouds is a fundamental and challenging problem in the field of computer vision. Different from images where RGB pixels are stored in the regular grid, for point clouds, the underlying semantic and structural information of point clouds is the spatial layout of the points. Moreover, the properties of challenging in-context and background noise pose more challenges to point cloud analysis. One assumption is that the poor performance of the classification model can be attributed to the indistinguishable embedding feature that impedes the search for the optimal classifier. This work offers a new strategy for learning powerful representations via a contrastive learning approach that can be embedded into any point cloud classification network. First, we propose a supervised contrastive classification method to implement embedding feature distribution refinement by improving the intra-class compactness and inter-class separability. Second, to solve the confusion problem caused by small inter-class compactness and inter-class separability. Second, to solve the confusion problem caused by small inter-class variations between some similar-looking categories, we propose a confusion-prone class mining strategy to alleviate the confusion effect. Finally, considering that outliers of the sample clusters in the embedding space may cause performance degradation, we design an entropy-aware attention module with information entropy theory to identify the outlier cases and the unstable samples by measuring the uncertainty of predicted probability. The results of extensive experiments demonstrate that our method outperforms the state-of-the-art approaches by achieving 82.9% accuracy on the real-world ScanObjectNN dataset and substantial performance gains up to 2.9% in DCGNN, 3.1% in PointNet++, and 2.4% in GBNet.

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