Revisiting Point Cloud Shape Classification with a Simple and Effective Baseline

Ankit Goyal, Hei Law, Bowei Liu, Alejandro Newell, Jia Deng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

86 Scopus citations


Processing point cloud data is an important component of many real-world systems. As such, a wide variety of point-based approaches have been proposed, reporting steady benchmark improvements over time. We study the key ingredients of this progress and uncover two critical results. First, we find that auxiliary factors like different evaluation schemes, data augmentation strategies, and loss functions, which are independent of the model architecture, make a large difference in performance. The differences are large enough that they obscure the effect of architecture. When these factors are controlled for, PointNet++, a relatively older network, performs competitively with recent methods. Second, a very simple projection-based method, which we refer to as SimpleView, performs surprisingly well. It achieves on par or better results than sophisticated state-of-the-art methods on ModelNet40 while being half the size of PointNet++. It also outperforms state-of-the-art methods on ScanObjectNN, a real-world point cloud benchmark, and demonstrates better cross-dataset generalization. Code is available at

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 38th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2021
PublisherML Research Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781713845065
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event38th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 18 2021Jul 24 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of Machine Learning Research
ISSN (Electronic)2640-3498


Conference38th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2021
CityVirtual, Online

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Statistics and Probability


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