Long-Term Loop Closure Detection through Visual-Spatial Information Preserving Multi-Order Graph Matching
Loop closure detection is a fundamental problem for simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) in robotics. Most of the previous methods only consider one type of information, based on either visual appearances or spatial relationships of landmarks. In this paper, we introduce a novel visual-spatial information preserving multi-order graph matching approach for long-term loop closure detection. Our approach constructs a graph representation of a place from an input image to integrate visual-spatial information, including visual appearances of the landmarks and the background environment, as well as the second and third-order spatial relationships between two and three landmarks, respectively. Furthermore, we introduce a new formulation that formulates loop closure detection as a multi-order graph matching problem to compute a similarity score directly from the graph representations of the query and template images, instead of performing conventional vector-based image matching. We evaluate the proposed multi-order graph matching approach based on two public long-term loop closure detection benchmark datasets, including the St. Lucia and CMU-VL datasets. Experimental results have shown that our approach is effective for long-term loop closure detection and it outperforms the previous state-of-the-art methods.