Google Research

SOS: Stereo Matching in O(1) with Slanted Support Windows

  • Vladimir Tankovich
  • Michael John Schoenberg
  • Sean Fanello
  • Adarsh Kowdle
  • Christoph Rhemann
  • Mirko Schmidt
  • Maksym Dzitsiuk
  • Julien Valentin
  • Shahram Izadi
IROS (2018)


Depth cameras have accelerated research in many areas of computer vision. Most triangulation-based depth cameras, whether structured light systems like the Kinect or active (assisted) stereo systems, are based on the principle of stereo matching. Depth from stereo is an active research topic dating back 30 years. Despite recent advances, algorithms usually trade-off accuracy for speed. In particular, efficient methods rely on fronto-parallel assumptions to reduce the search space and keep computation low. We present SOS (Slanted O (1) Stereo), the first algorithm capable of leveraging slanted support windows without sacrificing speed or accuracy. We use an active stereo configuration, where an illuminator textures the scene. Under this setting, local methods-such as PatchMatch Stereo-obtain state of the art results by jointly estimating disparities and slant, but at a large computational cost. We observe that these methods typically exploit local smoothness to simplify their initialization strategies. Our key insight is that local smoothness can in fact be used to amortize the computation not only within initialization, but across the entire stereo pipeline. Building on these insights, we propose a novel hierarchical initialization that is able to efficiently perform search over disparity and slants. We then show how this structure can be leveraged to provide high quality depth maps. Extensive quantitative evaluations demonstrate that the proposed technique yields significantly more precise results than current state of the art, but at a fraction of the computational cost. Our prototype implementation runs at 4000 fps on modern GPU architectures.

Research Areas

Learn more about how we do research

We maintain a portfolio of research projects, providing individuals and teams the freedom to emphasize specific types of work