Octree-based region growing for point cloud segmentation

Anh Vu Vo, Linh Truong-Hong, Debra F. Laefer, Michela Bertolotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper introduces a novel, region-growing algorithm for the fast surface patch segmentation of three-dimensional point clouds of urban environments. The proposed algorithm is composed of two stages based on a coarse-to-fine concept. First, a region-growing step is performed on an octree-based voxelized representation of the input point cloud to extract major (coarse) segments. The output is then passed through a refinement process. As part of this, there are two competing factors related to voxel size selection. To balance the constraints, an adaptive octree is created in two stages. Empirical studies on real terrestrial and airborne laser scanning data for complex buildings and an urban setting show the proposed approach to be at least an order of magnitude faster when compared to a conventional region growing method and able to incorporate semantic-based feature criteria, while achieving precision, recall, and fitness scores of at least 75% and as much as 95%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-100
Number of pages13
JournalISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Building reconstruction
  • LiDAR
  • Octree
  • Point cloud
  • Segmentation
  • Voxelization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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