Recognizing Combinations of Facial Action Units with Different Intensity Using a Mixture of Hidden Markov Models and Neural Network

by   Mahmoud Khademi, et al.

Facial Action Coding System consists of 44 action units (AUs) and more than 7000 combinations. Hidden Markov models (HMMs) classifier has been used successfully to recognize facial action units (AUs) and expressions due to its ability to deal with AU dynamics. However, a separate HMM is necessary for each single AU and each AU combination. Since combinations of AU numbering in thousands, a more efficient method will be needed. In this paper an accurate real-time sequence-based system for representation and recognition of facial AUs is presented. Our system has the following characteristics: 1) employing a mixture of HMMs and neural network, we develop a novel accurate classifier, which can deal with AU dynamics, recognize subtle changes, and it is also robust to intensity variations, 2) although we use an HMM for each single AU only, by employing a neural network we can recognize each single and combination AU, and 3) using both geometric and appearance-based features, and applying efficient dimension reduction techniques, our system is robust to illumination changes and it can represent the temporal information involved in formation of the facial expressions. Extensive experiments on Cohn-Kanade database show the superiority of the proposed method, in comparison with other classifiers. Keywords: classifier design and evaluation, data fusion, facial action units (AUs), hidden Markov models (HMMs), neural network (NN).


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