Machine Learning for High-Speed Corner Detection

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Where feature points are used in real-time frame-rate applications, a high-speed feature detector is necessary. Feature detectors such as SIFT (DoG), Harris and SUSAN are good methods which yield high quality features, however they are too computationally intensive for use in real-time applications of any complexity. Here we show that machine learning can be used to derive a feature detector which can fully process live PAL video using less than 7% of the available processing time. By comparison neither the Harris detector (120%) nor the detection stage of SIFT (300%) can operate at full frame rate.

Clearly a high-speed detector is of limited use if the features produced are unsuitable for downstream processing. In particular, the same scene viewed from two different positions should yield features which correspond to the same real-world 3D locations [1]. Hence the second contribution of this paper is a comparison corner detectors based on this criterion applied to 3D scenes. This comparison supports a number of claims made elsewhere concerning existing corner detectors. Further, contrary to our initial expectations, we show that despite being principally constructed for speed, our detector significantly outperforms existing feature detectors according to this criterion.