ePointDA: An End-to-End Simulation-to-Real Domain Adaptation Framework for LiDAR Point Cloud Segmentation

7 Sep 2020  ·  Sicheng Zhao, Yezhen Wang, Bo Li, Bichen Wu, Yang Gao, Pengfei Xu, Trevor Darrell, Kurt Keutzer ·

Due to its robust and precise distance measurements, LiDAR plays an important role in scene understanding for autonomous driving. Training deep neural networks (DNNs) on LiDAR data requires large-scale point-wise annotations, which are time-consuming and expensive to obtain. Instead, simulation-to-real domain adaptation (SRDA) trains a DNN using unlimited synthetic data with automatically generated labels and transfers the learned model to real scenarios. Existing SRDA methods for LiDAR point cloud segmentation mainly employ a multi-stage pipeline and focus on feature-level alignment. They require prior knowledge of real-world statistics and ignore the pixel-level dropout noise gap and the spatial feature gap between different domains. In this paper, we propose a novel end-to-end framework, named ePointDA, to address the above issues. Specifically, ePointDA consists of three modules: self-supervised dropout noise rendering, statistics-invariant and spatially-adaptive feature alignment, and transferable segmentation learning. The joint optimization enables ePointDA to bridge the domain shift at the pixel-level by explicitly rendering dropout noise for synthetic LiDAR and at the feature-level by spatially aligning the features between different domains, without requiring the real-world statistics. Extensive experiments adapting from synthetic GTA-LiDAR to real KITTI and SemanticKITTI demonstrate the superiority of ePointDA for LiDAR point cloud segmentation.

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