43 Citations (SciVal)


Supervised training of a deep neural network for semantic segmentation of point clouds requires a large amount of labelled data. Nowadays, it is easy to acquire a huge number of points with high density in large-scale areas using current LiDAR and photogrammetric techniques. However it is extremely time-consuming to manually label point clouds for model training. In this paper, we propose an active and incremental learning strategy to iteratively query informative point cloud data for manual annotation and the model is continuously trained to adapt to the newly labelled samples in each iteration. We evaluate the data informativeness step by step and effectively and incrementally enrich the model knowledge. The data informativeness is estimated by two data dependent uncertainty metrics (point entropy and segment entropy) and one model dependent metric (mutual information). The proposed methods are tested on two datasets. The results indicate the proposed uncertainty metrics can enrich current model knowledge by selecting informative samples, such as considering points with difficult class labels and choosing target objects with various geometries in the labelled training pool. Compared to random selection, our metrics provide valuable information to significantly reduce the labelled training samples. In contrast with training from scratch, the incremental fine-tuning strategy significantly save the training time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-92
Number of pages20
JournalISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Early online date14 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020


  • Active learning
  • Deep learning
  • Incremental learning
  • Point clouds
  • Semantic segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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