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Fully automatic facial action unit detection and temporal analysis

Michel Valstar, Maja Pantic

Conference or Workshop Paper
IEEE Int'l Conf. on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition 2006
June, 2006
Volume 3
ISBN 0-7695-2597-0

In this work we report on the progress of building a system that enables fully automated fast and robust facial expression recognition from face video. We analyse subtle changes in facial expression by recognizing facial muscle action units (AUs) and analysing their temporal behavior. By detecting AUs from face video we enable the analysis of various facial communicative signals including facial expressions of emotion, attitude and mood. For an input video picturing a facial expression we detect per frame whether any of 15 different AUs is activated, whether that facial action is in the onset, apex, or offset phase, and what the total duration of the activation in question is. We base this process upon a set of spatio-temporal features calculated from tracking data for 20 facial fiducial points. To detect these 20 points of interest in the first frame of an input face video, we utilize a fully automatic, facial point localization method that uses individual feature GentleBoost templates built from Gabor wavelet features. Then, we exploit a particle

filtering scheme that uses factorized likelihoods and a novel observation model that combines a rigid and a morphological model to track the facial points. The AUs displayed in the input video and their temporal segments are recognized finally by Support Vector Machines trained on a subset of most informative spatio-temporal features selected by AdaBoost. For Cohn-Kanade andMMI databases, the proposed system classifies 15 AUs occurring alone or in combination with other AUs with a mean agreement rate of 90.2% with human FACS coders.

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