Monocular Visual-IMU Odometry: A Comparative Evaluation of Detector-Descriptor-Based Methods

Monocular visual-IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) odometry has been widely used in various intelligent vehicles. As a popular technique, detector-descriptor based visual-IMU odometry is effective and efficient due to the fact that local descriptors are robust against occlusions, background clutter and abrupt content changes. However, to our knowledge, there is not a comprehensive and comparative evaluation study on the performance of different combinations of detectors and descriptors recently developed. In order to bridge this gap, we conduct such a comparative study in a unified framework. In particular, six typical routes with different lengths, shapes and road scenes are selected from the well-known KITTI dataset. Firstly, we evaluate the performance of different combinations of salient point detectors and local descriptors using the six routes. Finally, we tune the parameters of the best detector or descriptor obtained for each route, to achieve better results. This study provides not only comprehensive benchmarks for assessing various algorithms, but also instructive guidelines and insights for developing detectors and descriptors to handle different road scenes.