A Space-Sweep Approach to True Multi-Image Matching
The problem of determining feature correspondences across multiple views is considered. The term "true multi-image" matching is introduced to describe techniques that make full and efficient use of the geometric relationships between multiple images and the scene. A true multi-image technique must generalize to any number of images, be of linear algorithmic complexity in the number of images, and use all the images in an equal manner. A new space-sweep approach to true multi-image matching is presented that simultaneously determines 2D feature correspondences and the 3D positions of feature points in the scene. The method is based on the premise that areas of space where several viewing rays intersect are the likely locations of observed 3D scene features. It is shown that the intersections of viewing rays with a plane sweeping through space can be determined very efficiently, and a statistical model is developed to tell how likely it is that a given number of viewing rays will pass through an area of the plane by chance. The method is illustrated on a seven-image matching example from the aerial image domain.