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There's a paper on tf here: http://wiki.ros.org/Papers/TePRA2013_Foote

tf2 has several optimizations but has most of the same structure. The majority of the changes were dependency cleanup etc. You can see the tf2 design here: http://wiki.ros.org/tf2/Design

Performance related changes from tf include:

  • Adding support for static transforms. This avoids maintaining a time history, and providoes O(1) lookups.
  • There is support for remote caches, reducing the need for multiple caches.