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What Can Spontaneous Facial Expression Tell Us?


Facial expression plays a significant role in human communication. It is considered the single most important cue in the psychology of emotion. Facial expression is taken as a universally understood signal, which triggers a discrete categorical basic emotion, including joy, sadness, fear, surprise, anger, and disgust. Thus, automatic analysis of emotion from images of human facial expression has been an interesting and challenging problem for the past 30 years. Aiming towards the applications of human behavior analysis, human-human interaction and human-computer interaction, this topic has recently drawn even more attention.

Automatic analysis of facial expression in a realistic scenario is a much more difficult problem due to that the 2-D imagery of human facial expression consists of rigid head motion and non-rigid muscle motion. We are tasked to solve this "coupled-motion" problem and analyze facial expression in a meaningful manner. We first proposed an image-based representation, Emotion Avatar Image, to help person-independent expression recognition. Second, an real-time registration technique is designed to improve frame-based streaming action unit (AU) recognition. The proposed accurate expression recognition techniques are then applied to the field of advertising, where audiences' commercial watching behavior is thoroughly analyzed.

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