TERRAIN-ADAPTIVE GROUND FILTERING OF AIRBORNE LIDAR DATA BASED ON SALIENCY-AWARE THIN PLATE SPLINE
Ground filtering separates the ground and non-ground points from point clouds, which is the essential process for DEM generation, semantic segmentation, model reconstruction and so forth. Considering the topologically complex terrain environments, the segmentation results are prone to be disturbed dealing with steep slopes, buildings, bridges, cliffs, etc. from Airborne LiDAR point clouds. In this paper, a saliency-aware Thin-Plate-Spline (SATPS) interpolation method is proposed including two steps: saliency division and adaptive regularized TPS interpolation with relative variance coefficient. Firstly, the point clouds are indexed in 2D grids and segments are clustered step probing toward 8-adjacent scanning directions. Then, the saliency of each grid is calculated according to the elevation variance of adjacent segments towards each scanning direction. Subsequently, grids of high ground saliency are considered as candidates for seed point selection and then clustered by region growing. The TPS surface is interpolated for each cluster loosely fitting to the seed points involving an adaptive relative variance coefficient which is according to ground saliency and elevation deviation. And finally, the ground points are extracted around the TPS surface. Experimental results indicate that the proposed SATPS algorithm achieves better Type 1 accuracy and total accuracy than the state-of-the-art algorithms in scenes with complex terrain structures, which is practical to generate DEM products.