IARPA Contest Submission
This is my IARPA Contest Submission for the IARPA Multi-View Stereo 3D Mapping Challenge.
This submission finished 1st in the Explorer Contest, and 3rd in the Master Contest.
The objective of this software is to evaluate a 3d map from a set of satellite images.
What must be provided:
- A set of satellite images
- A list of suitable pairs of images
- A KML file
What is generated:
- A TXT File containing 3d point positions
- A NPZ (numpy) file containing a height map, color map and confidence metric
How it does it:
- First, it calculates a 3D map for each defined pair of images.
- Then, it merge all the 3D maps into a single one by consensus.
Main steps can be called independently allowing maximum customization.
This code is under MIT license.
Third party softwares
This code relies heavily on the NASA Ames Stereo Pipeline. It has been directly included in this repository (in the
lib_exec/StereoPipeline folder) for ease of installation.
It also relies on the sample code provided during the contest that can be found in the
This code has been tested on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. It probably works on Linux and Unix operating system. It might work on Windows, with some changes: replacing the StereoPipeline folder, changing the installation script...
With the images and KML files provided in the IARPA Challenge, maximum memory usage is about 2-3GB.
How to install
First, get this software by cloning it from github:
sudo apt-get --assume-yes install git git clone https://github.com/sdrdis/iarpa_contest_submission.git
Or downloading the zip file and unzipping it:
sudo apt-get --assume-yes install unzip wget https://github.com/sdrdis/iarpa_contest_submission/archive/master.zip unzip master.zip
Then go inside the main folder and launch:
It will install OpenCV and GDAL notably, so it might take some time...
How to use
We kept the same convention than during the contest. The user must call the software from the terminal:
python chain.py [Input KML file] [Path to NITF image folder] [Output file]
The first argument is the location of the KML file indicating which area to reconstruct in 3D. The second argument is
the location of the folder containing all NITF images (with a NTF extension). The third argument is the output file
(extension can either be
The software can be separated into two smaller utilities:
The first utility proceeds each pair and generates a 3d map for each of them:
python chain_pairwise_pc.py [Input KML file] [Path to NITF image folder]
The second utility merge all the 3d maps into a single one:
python chain_merge_pcs.py [Input KML file] [Output file]
That means that you can customize the stereo algorithm for each pair, and then still merge them using our software
Parameters can be customized in the
params.py file. Each parameter has been commented so take a look at the file.
There exists also, for the user convenience, a vizualization utility for
python vizualize_result.py [NPZ file] [Output folder]
This vizualization file creates three image files with self-explanatory names:
We will rely on the contest data to show how the software can be used and how
params.py should be modified.
First, we will download only a small part of the images set as otherwise you would need more than 30 GB of storage. The following will only need about 4.5 GB of storage. From the main folder, launch:
mkdir data cd data wget http://multiview-stereo.s3.amazonaws.com/18DEC15WV031000015DEC18140455-P1BS-500515572010_01_P001_________AAE_0AAAAABPABJ0.NTF wget http://multiview-stereo.s3.amazonaws.com/18DEC15WV031000015DEC18140510-P1BS-500515572040_01_P001_________AAE_0AAAAABPABJ0.NTF wget http://multiview-stereo.s3.amazonaws.com/18DEC15WV031000015DEC18140522-P1BS-500515572020_01_P001_________AAE_0AAAAABPABJ0.NTF wget http://multiview-stereo.s3.amazonaws.com/18DEC15WV031000015DEC18140533-P1BS-500515572050_01_P001_________AAE_0AAAAABPABJ0.NTF wget http://multiview-stereo.s3.amazonaws.com/18DEC15WV031000015DEC18140544-P1BS-500515572060_01_P001_________AAE_0AAAAABPABJ0.NTF wget http://multiview-stereo.s3.amazonaws.com/18DEC15WV031000015DEC18140554-P1BS-500515572030_01_P001_________AAE_0AAAAABPABJ0.NTF
We also need a KML file. We will take the one from the explorer contest. From the main folder, launch:
mkdir kml cd kml wget http://www.topcoder.com/contest/problem/MultiViewStereoExplorer/Challenge1.kml
Then, return to the main folder. As we only chose a part of the contest images, we need to change the pair filenames.
As a reminder, the software first compute a 3d map for each image pair. This pairwise 3d reconstruction won't work
for all pairs, so the user have to define them. He can do it by changing the
pairs_filenames variable in the
params.py file. Here, replace:
pairs_filenames = [ ... ]
pairs_filenames = [ ['18DEC15WV031000015DEC18140455-P1BS-500515572010_01_P001_________AAE_0AAAAABPABJ0.NTF', '18DEC15WV031000015DEC18140533-P1BS-500515572050_01_P001_________AAE_0AAAAABPABJ0.NTF'], #1-4 ['18DEC15WV031000015DEC18140510-P1BS-500515572040_01_P001_________AAE_0AAAAABPABJ0.NTF', '18DEC15WV031000015DEC18140544-P1BS-500515572060_01_P001_________AAE_0AAAAABPABJ0.NTF'], #2-5 ['18DEC15WV031000015DEC18140522-P1BS-500515572020_01_P001_________AAE_0AAAAABPABJ0.NTF', '18DEC15WV031000015DEC18140554-P1BS-500515572030_01_P001_________AAE_0AAAAABPABJ0.NTF'], #3-6 ]
The images we chose are a sequence taken at approximately the same time with slightly different angles. We chose pairs with a sufficient baseline but not too much changes. It is recommended to choose pairs that have those properties.
In the main folder, create the
out folder where we will save our result:
Everything should be ready. You can now launch the software:
python chain.py kml/Challenge1.kml data/ out/test.npz
Once the software has finished running, you can vizualize the result like that:
python vizualize_result.py out/test.npz out/
It will create 3 image files, with self-explanatory names:
As you can see, there are a lot of undefined areas (depicted in gray in the height map, red in the color map). These areas are low confidence values that
are by default removed. You can change this behavior by changing the
relative_consensus parameter in the
params.py file. You can also
remove all post-processing (including the removal of low confidence values) by setting
Once this is done, you can execute only the second step of our algorithm, since changing this parameter didn't change the way pair-wise stereo reconstruction was done.
python chain_merge_pcs.py kml/Challenge1.kml out/test_2.npz
Here are the images generated with
relative_consensus = 0:
[COMING SOON] PDF and Video presentation of the submission.
As written in the introduction, first we evaluate for each pair a 3D map, and then we merge them using consensus.
For evaluating the 3D for each pair, we relied in part on the NASA Ames Stereo Pipeline, and in part on the OpenCV library. The original stereo pipeline processes a pair in four steps:
- Preprocessing of the pair of images: bundle adjustment, pair rectification...
- Disparity evaluation using a pyramidal matching scheme.
- Postprocessing of the disparity map: hole filling, subpixel refinement...
- Disparity map to 3D map transformation.
In our approach, we replaced the second and third step by our own module. We first compute a disparity map using SGBM, and then we propagate the most confident values using the WLS algorithm. This approach was heavily inspired by this tutorial. Since disparities are propagated using an edge preserving scheme, it respects much more the boundaries of buildings compared to the Ames Stereo Pipeline. It is possible to change the parameters used by the WLS algorithm in the parameter file.
The exact code can be read in the
functions_disparity_map.py file. There are some additional details. We process
larger areas compared to what is needed by the KML file to minimize problems caused by large black areas in the
rectified pairs. We prevent borders with black areas to be matched. We also repeat twice the post-filtering with WLS in
order to remove outliers.
The merging process is quite simple. We take the 3D maps generated for each pair and transform them to height maps.
We align these height maps and merge them. For each pixel (longitude/latitude) we have then multiple height
evaluation. From this list, we take the largest set with a range less than a threshold (defined by the
acceptable_height_deviation parameter). Final height is the average of this set and we compute an additional
confidence value which is the number of elements inside this set.
For TXT files, we followed the convention of the contest:
Points are listed in the file one per line, in
x y z intensity
format, that is 4 real numbers separated by a single space, where
- x is the ‘easting’ value of the point’s UTM coordinate,
- y is the ‘northing’ value of the point’s UTM coordinate,
- z is the height value of the point given in meters,
- grey intensity
NPZ files are Numpy files so they can easily be loaded using Numpy. In order to read them you can write the following Python script:
import numpy as np data = np.load(data_path) f_infos = data['f_infos'] bounds = data['bounds']
bounds are the boundaries informations given by the KML file and the merging process.
f_infos contains the data
and is a 3d matrix. The first row is the confidence map, the second row is the height map, and the third row is
the color map.
As discussed in the presentation, there could be a lot of improvement done to this sofware:
- There are some parts which could be easily parallelized, such as the
- We could fill the undefined areas using WLS for instance.
- We could use other stereo algorithms than SGBM. A slower but more accurate one would be great.
relative_consensusthreshold is not necessarly well balanced. For instance, a value of
0.7might be good for ten images, but could remove too many values for twenty or more images.