An international and multidisciplinary research collaboration between Heriot-Watt University, Queensland University of Technology, Delft University of Technology and the University of Essex, has led to a publication on an open source framework for assessing the performance of VPR techniques.
Visual place recognition (VPR) is the process of recognising a previously visited place using visual information, often under varying appearance conditions and viewpoint changes and with computational constraints. While the concept of place recognition has been around for many years, VPR research has grown rapidly as a field over the past decade due to improving camera hardware and its potential for deep learning-based techniques, and has become a widely studied topic in both the computer vision and robotics communities. This growth however has led to fragmentation and a lack of standardisation in the field, especially concerning performance evaluation. Moreover, the notion of viewpoint and illumination invariance of VPR techniques has largely been assessed qualitatively and hence ambiguously in the past. In this paper, we address these gaps through a new comprehensive open-source framework for assessing the performance of VPR techniques, dubbed “VPR-Bench”.”