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Appearance-based loop closure techniques, which leverage the high information content of visual images and can be used independently of pose, are now widely used in robotic applications. The current state-of-the-art in the field is Fast Appearance-Based Mapping (FAB-MAP) having been demonstrated in several seminal robotic mapping experiments. In this paper, we describe OpenFABMAP, a fully open source implementation of the original FAB-MAP algorithm. Beyond the benefits of full user access to the source code, OpenFABMAP provides a number of configurable options including rapid codebook training and interest point feature tuning. We demonstrate the performance of OpenFABMAP on a number of published datasets and demonstrate the advantages of quick algorithm customisation. We present results from OpenFABMAPâ€™s application in a highly varied range of robotics research scenarios.
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