Learning to Drop Points for LiDAR Scan Synthesis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Citations (Scopus)


3D laser scanning by LiDAR sensors plays an important role for mobile robots to understand their surroundings. Nevertheless, not all systems have high resolution and accuracy due to hardware limitations, weather conditions, and so on. Generative modeling of LiDAR data as scene priors is one of the promising solutions to compensate for unreliable or incomplete observations. In this paper, we propose a novel generative model for learning LiDAR data based on generative adversarial networks. As in the related studies, we process LiDAR data as a compact yet lossless representation, a cylindrical depth map. However, despite the smoothness of real-world objects, many points on the depth map are dropped out through the laser measurement, which causes learning difficulty on generative models. To circumvent this issue, we introduce measurement uncertainty into the generation process, which allows the model to learn a disentangled representation of the underlying shape and the dropout noises from a collection of real LiDAR data. To simulate the lossy measurement, we adopt a differentiable sampling framework to drop points based on the learned uncertainty. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on synthesis and reconstruction tasks using two datasets. We further showcase potential applications by restoring LiDAR data with various types of corruption.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781665417143
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event2021 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2021 - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: Sept 27 2021Oct 1 2021

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
ISSN (Print)2153-0858
ISSN (Electronic)2153-0866


Conference2021 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2021
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications


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