The Manhattan Frame Model-Manhattan World Inference in the Space of Surface Normals

Julian Straub, Oren Freifeld, Guy Rosman, John J. Leonard, John W. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objects and structures within man-made environments typically exhibit a high degree of organization in the form of orthogonal and parallel planes. Traditional approaches utilize these regularities via the restrictive, and rather local, Manhattan World (MW) assumption which posits that every plane is perpendicular to one of the axes of a single coordinate system. The aforementioned regularities are especially evident in the surface normal distribution of a scene where they manifest as orthogonally-coupled clusters. This motivates the introduction of the Manhattan-Frame (MF) model which captures the notion of an MW in the surface normals space, the unit sphere, and two probabilistic MF models over this space. First, for a single MF we propose novel real-time MAP inference algorithms, evaluate their performance and their use in drift-free rotation estimation. Second, to capture the complexity of real-world scenes at a global scale, we extend the MF model to a probabilistic mixture of Manhattan Frames (MMF). For MMF inference we propose a simple MAP inference algorithm and an adaptive Markov-Chain Monte-Carlo sampling algorithm with Metropolis-Hastings split/merge moves that let us infer the unknown number of mixture components. We demonstrate the versatility of the MMF model and inference algorithm across several scales of man-made environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-249
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Applied Mathematics


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