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

Perception for Activity Recognition

Participants : François Brémond, Antitza Dantcheva, Sabine Moisan, Monique Thonnat.

Activity Recognition, Scene Understanding, Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Cognitive Vision Systems, Software Engineering


Our main goal in perception is to develop vision algorithms able to address the large variety of conditions characterizing real world scenes in terms of sensor conditions, hardware requirements, lighting conditions, physical objects, and application objectives. We have also several issues related to perception which combine machine learning and perception techniques: learning people appearance, parameters for system control and shape statistics.

Appearance Models and People Tracking

An important issue is to detect in real-time physical objects from perceptual features and predefined 3D models. It requires finding a good balance between efficient methods and precise spatio-temporal models. Many improvements and analysis need to be performed in order to tackle the large range of people detection scenarios.

Appearance models. In particular, we study the temporal variation of the features characterizing the appearance of a human. This task could be achieved by clustering potential candidates depending on their position and their reliability. This task can provide any people tracking algorithms with reliable features allowing for instance to (1) better track people or their body parts during occlusion, or to (2) model people appearance for re-identification purposes in mono and multi-camera networks, which is still an open issue. The underlying challenge of the person re-identification problem arises from significant differences in illumination, pose and camera parameters. The re-identification approaches have two aspects: (1) establishing correspondences between body parts and (2) generating signatures that are invariant to different color responses. As we have already several descriptors which are color invariant, we now focus more on aligning two people detection and on finding their corresponding body parts. Having detected body parts, the approach can handle pose variations. Further, different body parts might have different influence on finding the correct match among a whole gallery dataset. Thus, the re-identification approaches have to search for matching strategies. As the results of the re-identification are always given as the ranking list, re-identification focuses on learning to rank. "Learning to rank" is a type of machine learning problem, in which the goal is to automatically construct a ranking model from a training data.

Therefore, we work on information fusion to handle perceptual features coming from various sensors (several cameras covering a large scale area or heterogeneous sensors capturing more or less precise and rich information). New 3D RGB-D sensors are also investigated, to help in getting an accurate segmentation for specific scene conditions.

Long term tracking. For activity recognition we need robust and coherent object tracking over long periods of time (often several hours in video surveillance and several days in healthcare). To guarantee the long term coherence of tracked objects, spatio-temporal reasoning is required. Modeling and managing the uncertainty of these processes is also an open issue. In Stars we propose to add a reasoning layer to a classical Bayesian framework modeling the uncertainty of the tracked objects. This reasoning layer can take into account the a priori knowledge of the scene for outlier elimination and long-term coherency checking.

Controlling system parameters. Another research direction is to manage a library of video processing programs. We are building a perception library by selecting robust algorithms for feature extraction, by insuring they work efficiently with real time constraints and by formalizing their conditions of use within a program supervision model. In the case of video cameras, at least two problems are still open: robust image segmentation and meaningful feature extraction. For these issues, we are developing new learning techniques.