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Paper in AISTATS 2013 “Beyond Sentiment: The Manifold of Human Emotions”

April 29th, 2013 Irfan Essa Posted in AAAI/IJCAI/UAI, Behavioral Imaging, Computational Journalism, Numerical Machine Learning, Papers, WWW No Comments »

  • S. Kim, F. Li, G. Lebanon, and I. A. Essa (2013), “Beyond Sentiment: The Manifold of Human Emotions,” in Proceedings of AI STATS, 2013. [PDF] [BIBTEX]
    @inproceedings{2012-Kim-BSMHE,
      Author = {Seungyeon Kim and Fuxin Li and Guy Lebanon and Irfan A. Essa},
      Booktitle = {Proceedings of AI STATS},
      Date-Added = {2013-06-25 12:01:11 +0000},
      Date-Modified = {2013-06-25 12:02:53 +0000},
      Pdf = {http://arxiv.org/pdf/1202.1568v1},
      Title = {Beyond Sentiment: The Manifold of Human Emotions},
      Year = {2013}}

Abstract

Sentiment analysis predicts the presence of positive or negative emotions in a text document. In this paper we consider higher dimensional extensions of the sentiment concept, which represent a richer set of human emotions. Our approach goes beyond previous work in that our model contains a continuous manifold rather than a finite set of human emotions. We investigate the resulting model, compare it to psychological observations, and explore its predictive capabilities. Besides obtaining significant improvements over a baseline without manifold, we are also able to visualize different notions of positive sentiment in different domains.

via [arXiv.org 1202.1568] Beyond Sentiment: The Manifold of Human Emotions.

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Paper in IEEE CVPR 2012: “Detecting Regions of Interest in Dynamic Scenes with Camera Motions”

June 16th, 2012 Irfan Essa Posted in Activity Recognition, Kihwan Kim, Numerical Machine Learning, PAMI/ICCV/CVPR/ECCV, Papers, PERSEAS, Visual Surviellance No Comments »

Detecting Regions of Interest in Dynamic Scenes with Camera Motions

  • K. Kim, D. Lee, and I. Essa (2012), “Detecting Regions of Interest in Dynamic Scenes with Camera Motions,” in Proceedings of IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2012. [PDF] [WEBSITE] [VIDEO] [DOI] [BLOG] [BIBTEX]
    @inproceedings{2012-Kim-DRIDSWCM,
      Author = {Kihwan Kim and Dongreyol Lee and Irfan Essa},
      Blog = {http://prof.irfanessa.com/2012/04/09/paper-cvpr2012/},
      Booktitle = {Proceedings of IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
      Date-Added = {2012-04-09 22:37:06 +0000},
      Date-Modified = {2013-10-22 18:53:11 +0000},
      Doi = {10.1109/CVPR.2012.6247809},
      Pdf = {http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~irfan/p/2012-Kim-DRIDSWCM.pdf},
      Publisher = {IEEE Computer Society},
      Title = {Detecting Regions of Interest in Dynamic Scenes with Camera Motions},
      Url = {http://www.cc.gatech.edu/cpl/projects/roi/},
      Video = {http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19BMwDMCSp8},
      Year = {2012},
      Bdsk-Url-1 = {http://www.cc.gatech.edu/cpl/projects/roi/},
      Bdsk-Url-2 = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/CVPR.2012.6247809}}

Abstract

We present a method to detect the regions of interests in moving camera views of dynamic scenes with multiple mov- ing objects. We start by extracting a global motion tendency that reflects the scene context by tracking movements of objects in the scene. We then use Gaussian process regression to represent the extracted motion tendency as a stochastic vector field. The generated stochastic field is robust to noise and can handle a video from an uncalibrated moving camera. We use the stochastic field for predicting important future regions of interest as the scene evolves dynamically.

We evaluate our approach on a variety of videos of team sports and compare the detected regions of interest to the camera motion generated by actual camera operators. Our experimental results demonstrate that our approach is computationally efficient, and provides better prediction than those of previously proposed RBF-based approaches.

Presented at: IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) 2012, Providence, RI, June 16-21, 2012

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Paper (2011) in IEEE PAMI: “Bilayer Segmentation of Webcam Videos Using Tree-Based Classifiers “

January 12th, 2011 Irfan Essa Posted in Antonio Crimisini, Computational Photography and Video, John Winn, Numerical Machine Learning, PAMI/ICCV/CVPR/ECCV, Papers, Pei Yin No Comments »

Bilayer Segmentation of Webcam Videos Using Tree-Based Classifiers

Pei Yin, A. Criminisi, J. Winn, I. Essa (2011), “Bilayer Segmentation of Webcam Videos Using Tree-Based Classifiers” in Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, IEEE Transactions on, Jan. 2011, Volume :  33 ,  Issue:1, ISSN :  0162-8828, Digital Object Identifier :  10.1109/TPAMI.2010.65,  IEEE Computer Society [Project Page|DOI]

ABSTRACT

This paper presents an automatic segmentation algorithm for video frames captured by a (monocular) webcam that closely approximates depth segmentation from a stereo camera. The frames are segmented into foreground and background layers that comprise a subject (participant) and other objects and individuals. The algorithm produces correct segmentations even in the presence of large background motion with a nearly stationary foreground. This research makes three key contributions: First, we introduce a novel motion representation, referred to as “motons,” inspired by research in object recognition. Second, we propose estimating the segmentation likelihood from the spatial context of motion. The estimation is efficiently learned by random forests. Third, we introduce a general taxonomy of tree-based classifiers that facilitates both theoretical and experimental comparisons of several known classification algorithms and generates new ones. In our bilayer segmentation algorithm, diverse visual cues such as motion, motion context, color, contrast, and spatial priors are fused by means of a conditional random field (CRF) model. Segmentation is then achieved by binary min-cut. Experiments on many sequences of our videochat application demonstrate that our algorithm, which requires no initialization, is effective in a variety of scenes, and the segmentation results are comparable to those obtained by stereo systems.

via IEEE Xplore – Abstract Page.

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Paper in CVPR (2010): “Player Localization Using Multiple Static Cameras for Sports Visualization”

June 13th, 2010 Irfan Essa Posted in Activity Recognition, Jessica Hodgins, Kihwan Kim, Matthias Grundmann, Numerical Machine Learning, PAMI/ICCV/CVPR/ECCV, Raffay Hamid, Sports Visualization No Comments »

Raffay Hamid, Ram Krishan Kumar, Matthias Grundmann, Kihwan Kim, Irfan Essa, Jessica Hodgins (2010), “Player Localization Using Multiple Static Cameras for Sports Visualization” In Proceedings of IEEE Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Conference (CVPR), San Francisco, CA, USA, June 2010 [PDF][Website][DOI][Video (Youtube)].

Abstract

We present a novel approach for robust localization of multiple people observed using multiple cameras. We usethis location information to generate sports visualizations,which include displaying a virtual offside line in soccer games, and showing players’ positions and motion patterns.Our main contribution is the modeling and analysis for the problem of fusing corresponding players’ positional informationas finding minimum weight K-length cycles in complete K-partite graphs. To this end, we use a dynamic programmingbased approach that varies over a continuum of being maximally to minimally greedy in terms of the numberof paths explored at each iteration. We present an end-to-end sports visualization framework that employs our proposed algorithm-class. We demonstrate the robustness of our framework by testing it on 60; 000 frames of soccerfootage captured over 5 different illumination conditions, play types, and team attire.

Teaser Image from CVPR 2010 paper

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Paper (2009): ICASSP “Learning Basic Units in American Sign Language using Discriminative Segmental Feature Selection”

February 4th, 2009 Irfan Essa Posted in 0205507, Face and Gesture, ICASSP, James Rehg, Numerical Machine Learning, Pei Yin, Thad Starner No Comments »

Pei Yin, Thad Starner, Harley Hamilton, Irfan Essa, James M. Rehg (2009), ”Learning Basic Units in American Sign Language using Discriminative Segmental Feature Selection” in IEEE Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing 2009 (ICASSP 2009). Session: Spoken Language Understanding I, Tuesday, April 21, 11:00 – 13:00, Taipei, Taiwan.

ABSTRACT

The natural language for most deaf signers in the United States is American Sign Language (ASL). ASL has internal structure like spoken languages, and ASL linguists have introduced several phonemic models. The study of ASL phonemes is not only interesting to linguists, but also useful for scalability in recognition by machines. Since machine perception is different than human perception, this paper learns the basic units for ASL directly from data. Comparing with previous studies, our approach computes a set of data-driven units (fenemes) discriminatively from the results of segmental feature selection. The learning iterates the following two steps: first apply discriminative feature selection segmentally to the signs, and then tie the most similar temporal segments to re-train. Intuitively, the sign parts indistinguishable to machines are merged to form basic units, which we call ASL fenemes. Experiments on publicly available ASL recognition data show that the extracted data-driven fenemes are meaningful, and recognition using those fenemes achieves improved accuracy at reduced model complexity

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Thesis Raffay Hamid PhD (2008): “A Computational Framework For Unsupervised Analysis of Everyday Human Activities”

June 18th, 2008 Irfan Essa Posted in Aaron Bobick, Activity Recognition, Numerical Machine Learning, PhD, Raffay Hamid No Comments »

M. Raffay Hamid PhD (2008), “A Computational Framework For Unsupervised Analysis of Everyday Human Activities“, PhD Thesis, Georgia Institute of Techniology, College of Computing, Atlanta, GA. (Advisor: Aaron Bobick & Irfan Essa)

Abstract

In order to make computers proactive and assistive, we must enable them to perceive, learn, and predict what is happening in their surroundings. This presents us with the challenge of formalizing computational models of everyday human activities. For a majority of environments, the structure of the in situ activities is generally not known a priori. This thesis therefore investigates knowledge representations and manipulation techniques that can facilitate learning of such everyday human activities in a minimally supervised manner. 

A key step towards this end is finding appropriate representations for human activities. We posit that if we chose to describe activities as finite sequences of an appropriate set of events, then the global structure of these activities can be uniquely encoded using their local event sub-sequences. With this perspective at hand, we particularly investigate representations that characterize activities in terms of their fixed and variable length event subsequences. We comparatively analyze these representations in terms of their representational scope, feature cardinality and noise sensitivity.

Exploiting such representations, we propose a computational framework to discover the various activity-classes taking place in an environment. We model these activity-classes as maximally similar activity-cliques in a completely connected graph of activities, and describe how to discover them efficiently. Moreover, we propose methods for finding concise characterizations of these discovered activity-classes, both from a holistic as well as a by-parts perspective. Using such characterizations, we present an incremental method to classify

a new activity instance to one of the discovered activity-classes, and to automatically detect if it is anomalous with respect to the general characteristics of its membership class. Our results show the efficacy of our framework in a variety of everyday environments

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Paper: ICASSP (2008) “Discriminative Feature Selection for Hidden Markov Models using Segmental Boosting”

April 3rd, 2008 Irfan Essa Posted in 0205507, Face and Gesture, Funding, James Rehg, Numerical Machine Learning, PAMI/ICCV/CVPR/ECCV, Papers, Pei Yin, Thad Starner No Comments »

Pei Yin, Irfan Essa, James Rehg, Thad Starner (2008) “Discriminative Feature Selection for Hidden Markov Models using Segmental Boosting”, ICASSP 2008 – March 30 – April 4, 2008 – Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A. (Paper: MLSP-P3.D8, Session: Pattern Recognition and Classification II, Time: Thursday, April 3, 15:30 – 17:30, Topic: Machine Learning for Signal Processing: Learning Theory and Modeling) (PDF|Project Site)

ABSTRACT

icassp08We address the feature selection problem for hidden Markov models (HMMs) in sequence classification. Temporal correlation in sequences often causes difficulty in applying feature selection techniques. Inspired by segmental k-means segmentation (SKS), we propose Segmentally Boosted HMMs (SBHMMs), where the state-optimized features are constructed in a segmental and discriminative manner. The contributions are twofold. First, we introduce a novel feature selection algorithm, where the temporal dynamics are decoupled from the static learning procedure by assuming that the sequential data are piecewise independent and identically distributed. Second, we show that the SBHMM consistently improves traditional HMM recognition in various domains. The reduction of error compared to traditional HMMs ranges from 17% to 70% in American Sign Language recognition, human gait identification, lip reading, and speech recognition.

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Funding: NSF/SGER (2007) “Persistent, Adaptive, Collaborative Synthespians”

September 15th, 2007 Irfan Essa Posted in Charles Isbell, Numerical Machine Learning No Comments »

Award#0749181 – SGER Collaborative Research: Persistent, Adaptive, Collaborative Synthespians
ABSTRACT

This project explores the development of methodologies for populating worlds with persistent, adaptive, collaborative, believable synthetic actors, referred to as Synthespians. These methods are extensions of adaptive models of learning and planning to accommodate the complex, dynamic environments in massive multi-player online games. The intellectual merit includes the development and evaluation of: 1. A behavior development language, with discovery, machine learning, and adaptation of behaviors directly integrated into the language, allowing for the rapid development and deployment of Synthespians. 2. A framework for the actors to recognize and discover plans by observing and modeling the activities of the other agents. An expected outcome of this research is the ability to author complex virtual worlds with many participants that support intelligent and effective interaction between people and machines. Broader Impact: A scientific understanding of how we interact with each other and collaborate will benefit from our ability to simulate complex environments with dynamic and evolving individual and group behaviors. In this project, building and modeling such environments and behaviors is done within a gaming context. This work will in the long run effect and change the fields of education and entertainment. In addition, being able to model large collaborative and interactive scenarios will also help us understand and model large social dynamics phenomenon of interest to sociologists and economists.

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Paper: IEEE CVPR (2007) “Tree-based Classifiers for Bilayer Video Segmentation”

June 17th, 2007 Irfan Essa Posted in 0205507, Antonio Crimisini, Computational Photography and Video, Funding, John Winn, Numerical Machine Learning, Papers, Pei Yin, Research No Comments »

Yin, Pei Criminisi, Antonio Winn, John Essa, Irfan (2007), Tree-based Classifiers for Bilayer Video Segmentation In Proceedings of IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, 2007. CVPR ’07, 17-22 June 2007, page(s): 1 – 8, Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA, ISBN: 1-4244-1180-7, Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/CVPR.2007.383008

Abstract

This paper presents an algorithm for the automatic segmentation of monocular videos into foreground and background layers. Correct segmentations are produced even in the presence of large background motion with nearly stationary foreground. There are three key contributions. The first is the introduction of a novel motion representation, “motons”, inspired by research in object recognition. Second, we propose learning the segmentation likelihood from the spatial context of motion. The learning is efficiently performed by Random Forests. The third contribution is a general taxonomy of tree-based classifiers, which facilitates theoretical and experimental comparisons of several known classification algorithms, as well as spawning new ones. Diverse visual cues such as motion, motion context, colour, contrast and spatial priors are fused together by means of a Conditional Random Field (CRF) model. Segmentation is then achieved by binary min-cut. Our algorithm requires no initialization. Experiments on many video-chat type sequences demonstrate the effectiveness of our algorithm in a variety of scenes. The segmentation results are comparable to those obtained by stereo systems.

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Paper: Asilomar Conference (2003) “Boosted audio-visual HMM for speech reading”

November 9th, 2003 Irfan Essa Posted in 0205507, Face and Gesture, Funding, James Rehg, Numerical Machine Learning, Papers, Pei Yin No Comments »

Yin, P. Essa, I. Rehg, J.M. (2003) “Boosted audio-visual HMM for speech reading.” In Proceedings Thirty-Seventh Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems and Computers, 2003. Date: 9-12 Nov. 2003, Volume: 2, On page(s): 2013 – 2018 Vol.2, , ISBN: 0-7803-8104-1, INSPEC Accession Number:8555396, Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/ACSSC.2003.1292334

Abstract

We propose a new approach for combining acoustic and visual measurements to aid in recognizing lip shapes of a person speaking. Our method relies on computing the maximum likelihoods of (a) HMM used to model phonemes from the acoustic signal, and (b) HMM used to model visual features motions from video. One significant addition in this work is the dynamic analysis with features selected by AdaBoost, on the basis of their discriminant ability. This form of integration, leading to boosted HMM, permits AdaBoost to find the best features first, and then uses HMM to exploit dynamic information inherent in the signal.

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