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TetraSphere: A Neural Descriptor for O(3)-Invariant Point Cloud Analysis

Pavlo Melnyk · Andreas Robinson · Michael Felsberg · Mårten Wadenbäck

Arch 4A-E Poster #75
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Wed 19 Jun 5 p.m. PDT — 6:30 p.m. PDT


In many practical applications, 3D point cloud analysis requires rotation invariance. In this paper, we present a learnable descriptor invariant under 3D rotations and reflections, i.e., the O(3) actions, utilizing the recently introduced steerable 3D spherical neurons and vector neurons. Specifically, we propose an embedding of the 3D spherical neurons into 4D vector neurons, which leverages end-to-end training of the model. In our approach, we perform TetraTransform—an equivariant embedding of the 3D input into 4D, constructed from the steerable neurons—and extract deeper O(3)-equivariant features using vector neurons. This integration of the TetraTransform into the VN-DGCNN framework, termed TetraSphere, negligibly increases the number of parameters by less than 0.0002%. TetraSphere sets a new state-of-the-art performance classifying randomly rotated real-world object scans of the challenging subsets of ScanObjectNN. Additionally, TetraSphere outperforms all equivariant methods on randomly rotated synthetic data: classifying objects from ModelNet40 and segmenting parts of the ShapeNet shapes. Thus, our results reveal the practical value of steerable 3D spherical neurons for learning in 3D Euclidean space. The code is available at

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