Giota Stratou: “Effect of Illumination on Automatic Expression Recognition: A Novel 3D Relightable Facial Database”

March 23, 2011 | Santa Barbara, CA

Speaker: Giota Stratou
Host: 9th IEEE Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition (FG 2011)

One of the main challenges in facial expression recognition is illumination invariance. Our long-term goal is to develop a system for automatic facial expression recognition that is robust to light variations. In this paper, we introduce a novel 3D Relightable Facial Expression (ICT-3DRFE) database that enables experimentation in the fields of both computer graphics and computer vision. The database contains 3D models for 23 subjects and 15 expressions, as well as photometric information that allow for photorealistic rendering. It is also facial action units annotated, using FACS standards. Using the ICT-3DRFE database we create an image set of different expressions/illuminations to study the effect of illumination on automatic expression recognition. We compared the output scores from automatic recognition with expert FACS annotations and found that they agree when the illumination is uniform. Our results show that the output distribution of the automatic recognition can change significantly with light variations and sometimes causes the discrimination of two different expressions to be diminished. We propose a ratio-based light transfer method, to factor out unwanted illuminations from given images and show that it reduces the effect of illumination on expression recognition.