Maximum likelihood autocalibration

Stuart B. Heinrich, Wesley E. Snyder, Jan-Michael Frahm
Image and Vision Computing, Volume 29, Issue 10, September 2011

Abstract

This paper addresses the problem of autocalibration, which is a critical step in existing uncalibrated structure from motion algorithms that utilize an initialization to avoid the local minima in metric bundle adjustment. Currently, all known direct (not non-linear) solutions to the uncalibrated structure from motion problem solve for a projective reconstruction that is related to metric by some unknown homography, and hence a necessary step in obtaining a metric reconstruction is the subsequent estimation of the rectifying homography, known as autocalibration. Although autocalibration is a well-studied problem, previous approaches have relied upon heuristic objective functions, and have a reputation for instability. We propose a maximum likelihood objective and show that it can be implemented robustly and efficiently and often provides substantially greater accuracy, especially when there are fewer views or greater noise.

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