Link to DOI – 10.1109/TIP.2020.3036759
IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, vol. 30, pp. 386-401, 2021
Detection and analysis of informative keypoints is a fundamental problem in image analysis and computer vision. Keypoint detectors are omnipresent in visual automation tasks, and recent years have witnessed a significant surge in the number of such techniques. Evaluating the quality of keypoint detectors remains a challenging task owing to the inherent ambiguity over what constitutes a good keypoint. In this context, we introduce a reference based keypoint quality index which is based on the theory of spatial pattern analysis. Unlike traditional correspondence-based quality evaluation which counts the number of feature matches within a specified neighborhood, we present a rigorous mathematical framework to compute the statistical correspondence of the detections inside a set of salient zones (cluster cores) defined by the spatial distribution of a reference set of keypoints. We leverage the versatility of the level sets to handle hypersurfaces of arbitrary geometry, and develop a mathematical framework to estimate the model parameters analytically to reflect the robustness of a feature detection algorithm. Extensive experimental studies involving several keypoint detectors tested under different imaging scenarios demonstrate efficacy of our method to evaluate keypoint quality for generic applications in computer vision and image analysis.