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Detection and tracking of facial features in real time using a synergistic approach of spatio-temporal models and generalized Hough-transform techniques

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1 Author(s)
A. Schubert ; Fak. fur Luft- und Raumfahrttech., German Armed Forces Munich Univ., Neubiberg, Germany

The proposed algorithm requires the description of the facial features as 3D-polygons (optionally extended by additional intensity information) which are assembled in a 3D-model of the head provided for in separate data files. Detection is achieved by using a special implementation of the generalized Hough transform (GHT) for which the forms are generated by projecting the 3D-model into the image plane. In the initialization phase a comparatively wide range of relative positions and attitudes between head and camera has to be tested for. Aiming for illumination-independence, only information about the sign of the difference between the expected intensities on both sides of the edge of the polygons may be additionally used in the GHT. Once a feature is found, further search for the remaining features can be restricted by the use of the 3D-model. The detection of a minimum number of features starts the tracking phase which is performed by using an extended Kalman filter (EKF) and assuming a first- or second-order dynamical model for the state variables describing the position and the attitude of the head. Synergistic advantages between GHT and EKF can be realized since the EKF and the projection into the image plane yield a rather good prediction of the forms to be detected by the GHT. This reduces considerably the search space in the image and in the parameter space. On the other hand the GHT offers a solution to the matching problem between image and object features. During the tracking phase the GHT can be further enhanced by monitoring the actual intensities along the edges of the polygons, their assignment to the corresponding 3D-object features, and their use for feature selection during the accumulation process. The algorithm runs on a dual Pentium II 333 MHz with a cycle time of 40 ms in real time

Published in:

Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition, 2000. Proceedings. Fourth IEEE International Conference on

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