RNGDet: Road Network Graph Detection by Transformer in Aerial Images

Zhenhua Xu, Yuxuan Liu, Lu Gan, Yuxiang Sun, Xinyu Wu, Ming Liu, Lujia Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Road network graphs provide critical information for autonomous-vehicle applications, such as drivable areas that can be used for motion planning algorithms. To find road network graphs, manual annotation is usually inefficient and labor-intensive. Automatically detecting road network graphs could alleviate this issue, but existing works still have some limitations. For example, segmentation-based approaches could not ensure satisfactory topology correctness, and graph-based approaches could not present precise enough detection results. To provide a solution to these problems, we propose a novel approach based on transformer and imitation learning in this article. In view of that high-resolution aerial images could be easily accessed all over the world nowadays, we make use of aerial images in our approach. Taken as input an aerial image, our approach iteratively generates road network graphs vertex-by-vertex. Our approach can handle complicated intersection points with various numbers of incident road segments. We evaluate our approach on a publicly available dataset. The superiority of our approach is demonstrated through comparative experiments. Our work is accompanied by a demonstration video which is available at https://tonyxuqaq.github.io/projects/RNGDet/.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4707612
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Aerial images
  • autonomous driving
  • imitation learning
  • remote sensing
  • road network graph detection
  • transformer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'RNGDet: Road Network Graph Detection by Transformer in Aerial Images'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this