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How to automate data processing with batches

This tutorial describes how to use the batching functionalities in PPIMMS to automate data processing.

What is a batch?

A batch processing functionality is a way to queue processing tasks in a list. Once configured the list can be launched and the steps run after each other without need for human intervention.

PPIMMS has two batches:

  • the processing batch for trajectory and constraints computation
  • the result batch for data finalization (colorization, filtering and exports)

Processing batch

From the “Post Process” menu, click on “Batch Processing” to access the batch processing functionality.

From the batch window, you can basically do all the processing steps from environment creation until result creation. Please note that the batch can only work in one environment at a time.

It is particularly useful to automate tasks that require long computation times such as SLAM odometric trajectory computation or loop constraints computation.

Example

Under “Environment” click on “New”.

Then click on the right icon. An explorer will open.

Give a name and click “Save”.

Then click on “Add”.

Give a name to your project and click “Add”.

Click on “Import AAR” to import an acquisition.

Click on “Browse” to find the .aar files on your computer that you want to import.

Select it and click “Open”.

Once added to the acquisition manager, select it and click on “Add Acquisitions To Project”.

A new line will appear on your Batch Processing window.

Double click on it or select it and click on “Edit” under “Settings”.

From the settings window, choose the steps that you want to run. For instance “Odometric Trajectory Computation” and “Loop Constraints Computation”. For each processing step selected, the settings can be adjusted if needed.

Click “OK” on the bottom-right of the settings window.

Similarly you can add other “Projects” in the environment (click “Add” under “Project”) and batch processing steps for each of them.

Once satisfied by your batch configuration, click on “Start” on the top-right corner of the batch processing window. The steps will now run sequentially until completion.

Result batch

From the Result menu, click on Batch Result Tasks to access the result batch functionality.

From the result batch window you can configure all the processing steps applicable to a result.

Example

Click on “Open” under “Environment”. A window will open. Select the environment you want to open then click on “Open”.

All the results available in the environment will appear.

Select the result you want to process then click on “Edit” under “Settings”. You can also double click on the result.

A window will pop up. From it, it will be possible to add processing tasks.

Click on “Add Task”. In the list choose the task you want to run.

In this example, we chose “Process Point Cloud Colorization”. The functionality settings are available and can be adjusted.

By clicking on “Add Task” again you can then add other processing tasks.

For instance “Process Point Cloud Filtering” and choosing the settings you want to use.

When you select the task “Export Point Cloud”, you can choose the colorization layer and filtering layer that you have tasked in your batch configuration.

A typical configuration could be as shown here:

  • colorization
  • filtering
  • point cloud export
  • images export

When you are satisfied with the tasks configuration, click on “OK” on the bottom-right corner of the window.

The tasks configured for your result will appear next to it.

Similarly you can configure the result processing steps for other results available in the environment.

Once satisfied by your batch configuration, click on “Start” on the top-right corner of the batch processing window. The steps will now run sequentially until completion.