Tolga Birdal, Umut Simsekli, Mustafa Onur Eken, Slobodan Ilic
We introduce Tempered Geodesic Markov Chain Monte Carlo (TG-MCMC) algorithm for initializing pose graph optimization problems, arising in various scenarios such as SFM (structure from motion) or SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping). TG-MCMC is first of its kind as it unites global non-convex optimization on the spherical manifold of quaternions with posterior sampling, in order to provide both reliable initial poses and uncertainty estimates that are informative about the quality of solutions. We devise theoretical convergence guarantees and extensively evaluate our method on synthetic and real benchmarks. Besides its elegance in formulation and theory, we show that our method is robust to missing data, noise and the estimated uncertainties capture intuitive properties of the data.