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Learning to Track and Identify Players from Broadcast Sports Videos

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4 Author(s)

Tracking and identifying players in sports videos filmed with a single pan-tilt-zoom camera has many applications, but it is also a challenging problem. This paper introduces a system that tackles this difficult task. The system possesses the ability to detect and track multiple players, estimates the homography between video frames and the court, and identifies the players. The identification system combines three weak visual cues, and exploits both temporal and mutual exclusion constraints in a Conditional Random Field (CRF). In addition, we propose a novel Linear Programming (LP) Relaxation algorithm for predicting the best player identification in a video clip. In order to reduce the number of labeled training data required to learn the identification system, we make use of weakly supervised learning with the assistance of play-by-play texts. Experiments show promising results in tracking, homography estimation, and identification. Moreover, weakly supervised learning with play-by-play texts greatly reduces the number of labeled training examples required. The identification system can achieve similar accuracies by using merely 200 labels in weakly supervised learning, while a strongly supervised approach needs a least 20,000 labels.

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IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence  (Volume:35 ,  Issue: 7 )