A SIMULATED POINT CLOUD IMPLEMENTATION OF A MACHINE LEARNING SEGMENTATION AND CLASSIFICATION ALGORITHM
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As buildings have almost come to a saturation point in most developed countries, the management and maintenance of existing buildings have become the major problem of the field. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the underlying technology to solve this problem. It is a 3D semantic representation of building construction and facilities that contributes to not only the design phase but also the construction and maintenance phases, such as life-cycle management and building energy performance measurement. This study aims at the processes of creating as-built BIM models, which are constructed after the design phase. Point cloud, a set of points in 3D space, is an intermediate product of as-built BIM models that is often acquired by 3D laser scanning and photogrammetry. A raw point cloud typically requires further procedures, e.g. registration, segmentation, classification, etc. In terms of segmentation and classification, machine learning methodologies are trending due to the enhanced speed of computation. However, supervised machine learning methodologies require labelling the training point clouds in advance, which is time-consuming and often leads to inevitable errors. And due to the complexity and uncertainty of real-world environments, the attributes of one point vary from the attributes of others. These situations make it difficult to analyze how one single attribute contributes to the result of segmentation and classification. This study developed a method of producing point clouds from a fast-generating 3D virtual indoor environment using procedural modeling. This research focused on two attributes of simulated point clouds, point density and the level of random errors. According to Silverman (1986), point density is associated with the point features around each output raster cell. The number of points within a neighborhood divided the area of the neighborhood is the point density. However, in this study, there was a little different. The point density was defined as the number of points on a surface divided by the surface area. And the unit is points per square meters (pts/m2). This research compared the performances of a machine learning segmentation and classification algorithm on ten different point cloud datasets. The mean loss and accuracy of segmentation and classification were analyzed and evaluated to show how the point density and level of random errors affect the performance of the segmentation and classification models. Moreover, the real-world point cloud data were used as additional data to evaluate the applicability of produced models.