VRS-NeRF: Visual Relocalization with Sparse Neural Radiance Field


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Visual relocalization is a key technique to autonomous driving, robotics, and virtual/augmented reality. After decades of explorations, absolute pose regression (APR), scene coordinate regression (SCR), and hierarchical methods (HMs) have become the most popular frameworks. However, in spite of high efficiency, APRs and SCRs have limited accuracy especially in large-scale outdoor scenes; HMs are accurate but need to store a large number of 2D descriptors for matching, resulting in poor efficiency. In this paper, we propose an efficient and accurate framework, called VRS-NeRF, for visual relocalization with sparse neural radiance field. Precisely, we introduce an explicit geometric map (EGM) for 3D map representation and an implicit learning map (ILM) for sparse patches rendering. In this localization process, EGP provides priors of spare 2D points and ILM utilizes these sparse points to render patches with sparse NeRFs for matching. This allows us to discard a large number of 2D descriptors so as to reduce the map size. Moreover, rendering patches only for useful points rather than all pixels in the whole image reduces the rendering time significantly. This framework inherits the accuracy of HMs and discards their low efficiency. Experiments on 7Scenes, CambridgeLandmarks, and Aachen datasets show that our method gives much better accuracy than APRs and SCRs, and close performance to HMs but is much more efficient.
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