What is the difference between a feature detector and a dense detector in computer vision? Are they the same or a subset of one another?

For the following algorithms (implemented in OpenCV), which of them are feature detectors and/or dense detectors?

  • SIFT
  • SURF
  • KAZE
  • FAST
  • ORB
  • GFTT
  • HarrisLaplace
  • StarDetector
  • $\begingroup$ I know what a feature detector is (roughly so), but what's a dense detector? Can you link to a usage of that term? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 27, 2020 at 0:16
  • $\begingroup$ I was reading this paper and the authors mention Dense Detector, even in other papers they mention Dense Feature Detector. And, I've already googled but didn't find any concrete answer. $\endgroup$
    – paul-shuvo
    Commented Jun 27, 2020 at 0:25

1 Answer 1


For class matching, Hietanen in [29] compares several binary descriptors and SIFT with different detectors, including a dense grid. SIFT preformed better than other descriptors and dense grid responds very well.

This result leads us to test dense detector for different descriptors…

It seems that a dense detector is one that uses a dense grid on which to evaluate some feature metric.

This is opposed to "classical" feature detectors that search the image for points with features.

Frankly, spanning a grid over an image to reduce it to a lower resolution does sound like what I'd call a subsampling and image transform, but maybe I'm misunderstanding this!


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