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Title: Continuous regression : a functional regression approach to facial landmark tracking
Author: Sánchez Lozano, Enrique
ISNI:       0000 0004 6352 0783
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2017
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Facial Landmark Tracking (Face Tracking) is a key step for many Face Analysis systems, such as Face Recognition, Facial Expression Recognition, or Age and Gender Recognition, among others. The goal of Facial Landmark Tracking is to locate a sparse set of points defining a facial shape in a video sequence. These typically include the mouth, the eyes, the contour, or the nose tip. The state of the art method for Face Tracking builds on Cascaded Regression, in which a set of linear regressors are used in a cascaded fashion, each receiving as input the output of the previous one, subsequently reducing the error with respect to the target locations. Despite its impressive results, Cascaded Regression suffers from several drawbacks, which are basically caused by the theoretical and practical implications of using Linear Regression. Under the context of Face Alignment, Linear Regression is used to predict shape displacements from image features through a linear mapping. This linear mapping is learnt through the typical least-squares problem, in which a set of random perturbations is given. This means that, each time a new regressor is to be trained, Cascaded Regression needs to generate perturbations and apply the sampling again. Moreover, existing solutions are not capable of incorporating incremental learning in real time. It is well-known that person-specific models perform better than generic ones, and thus the possibility of personalising generic models whilst tracking is ongoing is a desired property, yet to be addressed. This thesis proposes Continuous Regression, a Functional Regression solution to the least-squares problem, resulting in the first real-time incremental face tracker. Briefly speaking, Continuous Regression approximates the samples by an estimation based on a first-order Taylor expansion yielding a closed-form solution for the infinite set of shape displacements. This way, it is possible to model the space of shape displacements as a continuum, without the need of using complex bases. Further, this thesis introduces a novel measure that allows Continuous Regression to be extended to spaces of correlated variables. This novel solution is incorporated into the Cascaded Regression framework, and its computational benefits for training under different configurations are shown. Then, it presents an approach for incremental learning within Cascaded Regression, and shows its complexity allows for real-time implementation. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first incremental face tracker that is shown to operate in real-time. The tracker is tested in an extensive benchmark, attaining state of the art results, thanks to the incremental learning capabilities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA 75 Electronic computers. Computer science ; TA1501 Applied optics. Phonics