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Title: Automatic 3D reconstruction of complex buildings from incomplete point clouds with topological-relation constraints
Authors: Li, Y 
Wu, B 
Issue Date: 3-Aug-2020
Source: ISPRS annals of the photogrammetry, remote sensing and spatial information sciences, 3 Aug. 2020, v. V-5-2020, p. 85-92
Abstract: Automatic 3D building reconstruction from laser scanning or photogrammetric point clouds has gained increasing attention in the past two decades. Although many efforts have been made, the complexity of buildings and incompletion of point clouds, i.e., data missing, still make it a challenging task for automatic 3D reconstruction of buildings in large-scale urban scenes with various architectural styles. This paper presents an innovative approach for automatic generation of 3D models of complex buildings from even incomplete point clouds. The approach first decomposes the 3D space into multiple space units, including 3D polyhedral cells, facets and edges, where the facets and edges are also encoded with topological-relation constraints. Then, the units and constraints are used together to approximate the buildings. On one hand, by extracting facets from 3D cells and further extracting edges from facets, this approach simplifies complicated topological computations. On the other hand, because this approach models buildings on the basis of polyhedral cells, it can guarantee that the models are manifold and watertight and avoid correcting topological errors. A challenging dataset containing 105 buildings acquired in Central, Hong Kong, was used to evaluate the performance of the proposed approach. The results were compared with two previous methods and the comparisons suggested that the proposed approach outperforms other methods in terms of robustness, regularity, and accuracy of the models, with an average root-mean-square error of less than 0.9 m. The proposed approach is of significance for automatic 3D modelling of buildings for urban applications.
Keywords: 3D building reconstruction
Point clouds
Space decomposition
Topological relation
Publisher: Copernicus Publications
Journal: ISPRS annals of the photogrammetry, remote sensing and spatial information sciences 
ISSN: 2194-9042
EISSN: 2194-9050
DOI: 10.5194/isprs-annals-V-5-2020-85-2020
Description: 2020 24th ISPRS Congress - Technical Commission V (TC-V) on Education and Outreach - Youth Forum, 31 August - 2 September 2020
Rights: © Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (
The following publication Li, Y. and Wu, B.: AUTOMATIC 3D RECONSTRUCTION OF COMPLEX BUILDINGS FROM INCOMPLETE POINT CLOUDS WITH TOPOLOGICAL-RELATION CONSTRAINTS, ISPRS Ann. Photogramm. Remote Sens. Spatial Inf. Sci., V-5-2020, 85–92 is available at
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