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In previous work on point matching, a set of points is often treated as an instance of a joint distribution to exploit global relationships in the point set. For nonrigid shapes, however, the local relationship among neighboring points is stronger and more stable than the global one. In this paper, we introduce the notion of a neighborhood structure for the general point matching problem. We formulate point matching as an optimization problem to preserve local neighborhood structures during matching. Our approach has a simple graph matching interpretation, where each point is a node in the graph, and two nodes are connected by an edge if they are neighbors. The optimal match between two graphs is the one that maximizes the number of matched edges. Existing techniques are leveraged to search for an optimal solution with the shape context distance used to initialize the graph matching, followed by relaxation labeling updates for refinement. Extensive experiments show the robustness of our approach under deformation, noise in point locations, outliers, occlusion, and rotation. It outperforms the shape context and TPS-RPM algorithms on most scenarios.
Point matching, shape matching, image registration, nonrigid shapes, relaxation labeling.

D. Doermann and Y. Zheng, "Robust Point Matching for Nonrigid Shapes by Preserving Local Neighborhood Structures," in IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis & Machine Intelligence, vol. 28, no. , pp. 643-649, 2006.
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