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We propose a method for the automatic spotting (temporal segmentation) of facial expressions in long videos comprising of macro- and micro-expressions. The method utilizes the strain impacted on the facial skin due to the non-rigid motion caused during expressions. The strain magnitude is calculated using the central difference method over the robust and dense optical flow field observed in several regions (chin, mouth, cheek, forehead) on each subject's face. This new approach is able to successfully detect and distinguish between large expressions (macro) and rapid and localized expressions (micro). Extensive testing was completed on a dataset containing 181 macro-expressions and 124 micro-expressions. The dataset consists of 56 videos collected at USF, 6 videos from the Canal-9 political debates, and 3 low quality videos found on the internet. A spotting accuracy of 85% was achieved for macro-expressions and 74% of all micro-expressions were spotted.
Date of Conference: 21-25 March 2011