Team, Visitors, External Collaborators
Overall Objectives
Research Program
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: Research Program

Audio-Visual Scene Analysis

From 2006 to 2009, R. Horaud was the scientific coordinator of the collaborative European project POP (Perception on Purpose), an interdisciplinary effort to understand visual and auditory perception at the crossroads of several disciplines (computational and biological vision, computational auditory analysis, robotics, and psychophysics). This allowed the PERCEPTION team to launch an interdisciplinary research agenda that has been very active for the last five years. There are very few teams in the world that gather scientific competences spanning computer vision, audio signal processing, machine learning and human-robot interaction. The fusion of several sensorial modalities resides at the heart of the most recent biological theories of perception. Nevertheless, multi-sensor processing is still poorly understood from a computational point of view. In particular and so far, audio-visual fusion has been investigated in the framework of speech processing using close-distance cameras and microphones. The vast majority of these approaches attempt to model the temporal correlation between the auditory signals and the dynamics of lip and facial movements. Our original contribution has been to consider that audio-visual localization and recognition are equally important. We have proposed to take into account the fact that the audio-visual objects of interest live in a three-dimensional physical space and hence we contributed to the emergence of audio-visual scene analysis as a scientific topic in its own right. We proposed several novel statistical approaches based on supervised and unsupervised mixture models. The conjugate mixture model (CMM) is an unsupervised probabilistic model that allows to cluster observations from different modalities (e.g., vision and audio) living in different mathematical spaces [25], [2]. We thoroughly investigated CMM, provided practical resolution algorithms and studied their convergence properties. We developed several methods for sound localization using two or more microphones [1]. The Gaussian locally-linear model (GLLiM) is a partially supervised mixture model that allows to map high-dimensional observations (audio, visual, or concatenations of audio-visual vectors) onto low-dimensional manifolds with a partially known structure [9]. This model is particularly well suited for perception because it encodes both observable and unobservable phenomena. A variant of this model, namely probabilistic piecewise affine mapping has also been proposed and successfully applied to the problem of sound-source localization and separation [8]. The European projects HUMAVIPS (2010-2013) coordinated by R. Horaud and EARS (2014-2017), applied audio-visual scene analysis to human-robot interaction.