Room Categorization Based on a Hierarchical Representation of Space

International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems, 2013
For successful operation in real-world environments, a mobile robot requires an effective spatial model. The model should be compact, should possess large expressive power and should scale well with respect to the number of modelled categories. In this paper we propose a new compositional hierarchical representation of space that is based on learning statistically significant observations, in terms of the frequency of occurrence of various shapes in the environment. We have focused on a two-dimensional space, since many robots perceive their surroundings in two dimensions with the use of a laser range finder or sonar. We also propose a new low-level image descriptor, by which we demonstrate the performance of our representation in the context of a room categorization problem. Using only the lower layers of the hierarchy, we obtain state-of-the-art categorization results in two different experimental scenarios. We also present a large, freely available, dataset, which is intended for room categorization experiments based on data obtained with a laser range finder.


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