Human Emotion Understanding On Facial Image Sequences

July 28, 2009 at 9:54 am by

Place: Large Lecture Room
Affiliation: Computer Vision Centre and Dep. of Computer Science, UAB


Psychological evidence has emphasized the importance of affective behaviour understanding due to its high impact in nowadays interaction humans and computers. All type of affective and behavioural patterns such as gestures, emotions and mental states are highly displayed through the face, head and body. Therefore, this thesis is focused to analyse affective behaviours on head and face. To this end, head and facial movements are encoded by using appearance based tracking methods. Specifically, a wise combination of deformable models captures rigid and non-rigid movements of different kinematics; 3D head pose, eyebrows, mouth, eyelids and irises are taken into account as basis for extracting features from databases of video sequences. This approach combines the strengths of adaptive appearance models, optimization methods and backtracking techniques. For about thirty years, computer sciences have addressed the investigation on human emotions to the automatic recognition of six prototypic emotions suggested by Darwin and systematized by Paul Ekman in the seventies. The Facial Action Coding System (FACS) which uses discrete movements of the face (called Action units or AUs) to code the six facial emotions named anger, disgust, fear, happy-Joy, sadness and surprise. However, human emotions are much complex patterns that have not received the same attention from computer scientists. Simon Baron-Cohen proposed a new taxonomy of emotions and mental states without a system coding of the facial actions. These 426 affective behaviours are more challenging for the understanding of human emotions. Beyond of classically classifying the six basic facial expressions, more subtle gestures, facial actions and spontaneous emotions are considered here. By assessing confidence on the recognition results, exploring spatial and temporal relationships of the features, some methods are combined and enhanced for developing new taxonomy of expressions and emotions. The objective of this dissertation is to develop a computer vision system, including both facial feature extraction, expression recognition and emotion understanding by building a bottom-up reasoning process. Building a detailed taxonomy of human affective behaviours is an interesting challenge for head-face-based image analysis methods. In this paper, we exploit the strengths of Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA) to enhance an on-line head-face tracker. A relationship between head pose and local facial movements is studied according to their cognitive interpretation on affective expressions and emotions. Active Shape Models are synthesized for AAMs based on CCA-regression. Head pose and facial actions are fused into a maximally correlated space in order to assess expressiveness, confidence and classification in a CBR system. The CBR solutions are also correlated to the cognitive features, which allow avoiding exhaustive search when recognizing new head-face features. Subsequently, Support Vector Machines (SVMs) and Bayesian Networks are applied for learning the spatial relationships of facial expressions. Similarly, the temporal evolution of facial expressions, emotion and mental states are analysed based on Factorized Dynamic Bayesian Networks (FaDBN). As results, the bottom-up system recognizes six facial expressions, six basic emotions and six mental states, plus enhancing this categorization with confidence assessment at each level, intensity of expressions and a complete taxonomy.

Thesis Javier Orozco