From Depth What Can You See? Depth Completion via Auxiliary Image Reconstruction

CVPR 2020

Authors: Kaiyue Lu, Nick Barnes, Saeed Anwar, Liang Zheng Description: Depth completion recovers dense depth from sparse measurements, e.g., LiDAR. Existing depth-only methods use sparse depth as the only input. However, these methods may fail to recover semantics consistent boundaries, or small/thin objects due to 1) the sparse nature of depth points and 2) the lack of images to provide semantic cues. This paper continues this line of research and aims to overcome the above shortcomings. The unique design of our depth completion model is that it simultaneously outputs a reconstructed image and a dense depth map. Specifically, we formulate image reconstruction from sparse depth as an auxiliary task during training that is supervised by the unlabelled gray-scale images. During testing, our system accepts sparse depth as the only input, i.e., the image is not required. Our design allows the depth completion network to learn complementary image features that help to better understand object structures. The extra supervision incurred by image reconstruction is minimal, because no annotations other than the image are needed. We evaluate our method on the KITTI depth completion benchmark and show that depth completion can be significantly improved via the auxiliary supervision of image reconstruction. Our algorithm consistently outperforms depth-only methods and is also effective for indoor scenes like NYUv2.