Norest-Net: Normal Estimation Neural Network for 3-D Noisy Point Clouds

Yingkui Zhang, Mingqiang Wei, Lei Zhu, Guibao Shen, Fu Lee Wang, Jing Qin, Qiong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The widely deployed ways to capture a set of unorganized points, e.g., merged laser scans, fusion of depth images, and structure-from-<inline-formula> <tex-math notation="LaTeX">$x$</tex-math> </inline-formula>, usually yield a 3-D noisy point cloud. Accurate normal estimation for the noisy point cloud makes a crucial contribution to the success of various applications. However, the existing normal estimation wisdoms strive to meet a conflicting goal of simultaneously performing normal filtering and preserving surface features, which inevitably leads to inaccurate estimation results. We propose a normal estimation neural network (Norest-Net), which regards normal filtering and feature preservation as two separate tasks, so that each one is specialized rather than traded off. For full noise removal, we present a normal filtering network (NF-Net) branch by learning from the noisy height map descriptor (HMD) of each point to the ground-truth (GT) point normal; for surface feature recovery, we construct a normal refinement network (NR-Net) branch by learning from the bilaterally defiltered point normal descriptor (B-DPND) to the GT point normal. Moreover, NR-Net is detachable to be incorporated into the existing normal estimation methods to boost their performances. Norest-Net shows clear improvements over the state of the arts in both feature preservation and noise robustness on synthetic and real-world captured point clouds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Estimation
  • Filtering
  • Geometry
  • Geometry descriptor
  • Learning systems
  • Noise measurement
  • Point cloud compression
  • Task analysis
  • noisy point clouds
  • normal estimation
  • normal estimation neural network (Norest-Net)


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