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Title: Automatic age progression and estimation from faces
Author: Bukar, Ali M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8504 2663
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2017
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Recently, automatic age progression has gained popularity due to its numerous applications. Among these is the frequent search for missing people, in the UK alone up to 300,000 people are reported missing every year. Although many algorithms have been proposed, most of the methods are affected by image noise, illumination variations, and facial expressions. Furthermore, most of the algorithms use a pattern caricaturing approach which infers ages by manipulating the target image and a template face formed by averaging faces at the intended age. To this end, this thesis investigates the problem with a view to tackling the most prominent issues associated with the existing algorithms. Initially using active appearance models (AAM), facial features are extracted and mapped to people's ages, afterward a formula is derived which allows the convenient generation of age progressed images irrespective of whether the intended age exists in the training database or not. In order to handle image noise as well as varying facial expressions, a nonlinear appearance model called kernel appearance model (KAM) is derived. To illustrate the real application of automatic age progression, both AAM and KAM based algorithms are then used to synthesise faces of two popular long missing British and Irish kids; Ben Needham and Mary Boyle. However, both statistical techniques exhibit image rendering artefacts such as low-resolution output and the generation of inconsistent skin tone. To circumvent this problem, a hybrid texture enhancement pipeline is developed. To further ensure that the progressed images preserve people's identities while at the same time attaining the intended age, rigorous human and machine based tests are conducted; part of this tests resulted to the development of a robust age estimation algorithm. Eventually, the results of the rigorous assessment reveal that the hybrid technique is able to handle all existing problems of age progression with minimal error.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: National Information Technology Development Agency of Nigeria (NITDA)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Age progression ; Human face ; Active Appearance Models ; AAM ; Facial features ; Algorithm