Accurate Integration of Multi-view Range Images Using K-Means Clustering

Hong Zhou, Yonghuai Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (SciVal)


3D modelling finds a wide range of applications in industry. However, due to the presence of surface scanning noise, accumulative registration errors, and improper data fusion, reconstructed object surfaces using range images captured from multiple viewpoints are often distorted with thick patches, false connections, blurred features and artefacts. Moreover, the existing integration methods are often expensive in the sense of both computational time and data storage. These shortcomings limit the wide applications of 3D modelling using the latest laser scanning systems. In this paper, the k-means clustering approach (from the pattern recognition and machine learning literatures) is employed to minimize the integration error and to optimize the fused point locations. To initialize the clustering approach, an automatic method is developed, shifting points in the overlapping areas between neighbouring views towards each other, so that the initialized cluster centroids are in between the two overlapping surfaces. This results in more efficient and effective integration of data. While the overlapping areas were initially detected using a single distance threshold, they are then refined using the k-means clustering method. For more accurate integration results, a weighting scheme reflecting the imaging principle is developed to integrate the corresponding points in the overlapping areas. The fused point set is finally triangulated using an improved Delaunay method, guaranteeing a watertight surface. A comparative study based on real images shows that the proposed algorithm is efficient in the sense of either running time or memory usage and reduces significantly the integration error, while desirably retaining geometric details of 3D object surfaces of interest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-175
Number of pages24
JournalPattern Recognition
Issue number1
Early online date07 Jul 2007
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2008


  • 3D modelling
  • Registered range images
  • k-Means clustering
  • Point shift
  • Overlapping area detection and integration
  • Surface details


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