Filtering in the diffeomorphism group and the registration of point sets

Gao Y, Rathi Y, Bouix S, Tannenbaum A

IEEE Trans Image Process 2012 Oct;21(10):4383-96

PMID: 22752129


The registration of a pair of point sets as well as the estimation of their pointwise correspondences is a challenging and important task in computer vision. In this paper, we present a method to estimate the diffeomorphic deformation, together with the pointwise correspondences, between a pair of point sets. Many of the registration problems are iteratively solved by estimating the correspondence, locally optimizing certain cost functionals over the rigid or similarity or affine transformation group, then estimating the correspondence again, and so on. This type of approach, however, is well-known to be susceptible to suboptimal local solutions. In this paper, we first adopt the perspective of treating the registration as a posterior estimation optimization problem and solve it accordingly via a particle-filtering framework. Second, within such a framework, the diffeomorphic registration is performed to correct the nonlinear deformation of the points. In doing so, we provide a solution less susceptible to local minima. We provide the experimental results, which include challenging medical data sets where the two point sets differ by 180 (°) rotation as well as local deformations, to highlight the algorithm’s capability of robustly finding the more globally optimal solution for the registration task.