Dynamic Edge Weights in Graph Neural Networks for 3D Object Detection

17 Sep 2020  ·  Sumesh Thakur, Jiju Peethambaran ·

A robust and accurate 3D detection system is an integral part of autonomous vehicles. Traditionally, a majority of 3D object detection algorithms focus on processing 3D point clouds using voxel grids or bird's eye view (BEV). Recent works, however, demonstrate the utilization of the graph neural network (GNN) as a promising approach to 3D object detection. In this work, we propose an attention based feature aggregation technique in GNN for detecting objects in LiDAR scan. We first employ a distance-aware down-sampling scheme that not only enhances the algorithmic performance but also retains maximum geometric features of objects even if they lie far from the sensor. In each layer of the GNN, apart from the linear transformation which maps the per node input features to the corresponding higher level features, a per node masked attention by specifying different weights to different nodes in its first ring neighborhood is also performed. The masked attention implicitly accounts for the underlying neighborhood graph structure of every node and also eliminates the need of costly matrix operations thereby improving the detection accuracy without compromising the performance. The experiments on KITTI dataset show that our method yields comparable results for 3D object detection.

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