Facial Soft Biometrics: Methods, Applications and Solutions

This dissertation studies soft biometrics traits, their applicability in different security and commercial scenarios, as well as related usability aspects. We place the emphasis on human facial soft biometric traits which constitute the set of physical, adhered or behavioral human characteristics that can partially differentiate, classify and identify humans. Such traits, which include characteristics like age, gender, skin and eye color, the presence of glasses, moustache or beard, inherit several advantages such as ease of acquisition, as well as a natural compatibility with how humans perceive their surroundings. Specifically, soft biometric traits are compatible with the human process of classifying and recalling our environment, a process which involves constructions of hierarchical structures of different refined traits. This thesis explores these traits, and their application in soft biometric systems (SBSs), and specifically focuses on how such systems can achieve different goals ...

Dantcheva, Antitza — EURECOM / Telecom ParisTech


Deep Learning for Distant Speech Recognition

Deep learning is an emerging technology that is considered one of the most promising directions for reaching higher levels of artificial intelligence. Among the other achievements, building computers that understand speech represents a crucial leap towards intelligent machines. Despite the great efforts of the past decades, however, a natural and robust human-machine speech interaction still appears to be out of reach, especially when users interact with a distant microphone in noisy and reverberant environments. The latter disturbances severely hamper the intelligibility of a speech signal, making Distant Speech Recognition (DSR) one of the major open challenges in the field. This thesis addresses the latter scenario and proposes some novel techniques, architectures, and algorithms to improve the robustness of distant-talking acoustic models. We first elaborate on methodologies for realistic data contamination, with a particular emphasis on DNN training with simulated data. ...

Ravanelli, Mirco — Fondazione Bruno Kessler


Discrete-time speech processing with application to emotion recognition

The subject of this PhD thesis is the efficient and robust processing and analysis of the audio recordings that are derived from a call center. The thesis is comprised of two parts. The first part is dedicated to dialogue/non-dialogue detection and to speaker segmentation. The systems that are developed are prerequisite for detecting (i) the audio segments that actually contain a dialogue between the system and the call center customer and (ii) the change points between the system and the customer. This way the volume of the audio recordings that need to be processed is significantly reduced, while the system is automated. To detect the presence of a dialogue several systems are developed. This is the first effort found in the international literature that the audio channel is exclusively exploited. Also, it is the first time that the speaker utterance ...

Kotti, Margarita — Aristotle University of Thessaloniki


Automatic Speaker Characterization; Identification of Gender, Age, Language and Accent from Speech Signals

Speech signals carry important information about a speaker such as age, gender, language, accent and emotional/psychological state. Automatic recognition of speaker characteristics has a wide range of commercial, medical and forensic applications such as interactive voice response systems, service customization, natural human-machine interaction, recognizing the type of pathology of speakers, and directing the forensic investigation process. This research aims to develop accurate methods and tools to identify different physical characteristics of the speakers. Due to the lack of required databases, among all characteristics of speakers, our experiments cover gender recognition, age estimation, language recognition and accent/dialect identification. However, similar approaches and techniques can be applied to identify other characteristics such as emotional/psychological state. For speaker characterization, we first convert variable-duration speech signals into fixed-dimensional vectors suitable for classification/regression algorithms. This is performed by fitting a probability density function to acoustic ...

Bahari, Mohamad Hasan — KU Leuven


Deep neural networks for source separation and noise-robust speech recognition

This thesis addresses the problem of multichannel audio source separation by exploiting deep neural networks (DNNs). We build upon the classical expectation-maximization (EM) based source separation framework employing a multichannel Gaussian model, in which the sources are characterized by their power spectral densities and their source spatial covariance matrices. We explore and optimize the use of DNNs for estimating these spectral and spatial parameters. Employing the estimated source parameters, we then derive a time-varying multichannel Wiener filter for the separation of each source. We extensively study the impact of various design choices for the spectral and spatial DNNs. We consider different cost functions, time-frequency representations, architectures, and training data sizes. Those cost functions notably include a newly proposed task-oriented signal-to-distortion ratio cost function for spectral DNNs. Furthermore, we present a weighted spatial parameter estimation formula, which generalizes the corresponding exact ...

Nugraha, Aditya Arie — Université de Lorraine


Video person recognition strategies using head motion and facial appearance

In this doctoral dissertation, we principally explore the use of the temporal information available in video sequences for person and gender recognition; in particular, we focus on the analysis of head and facial motion, and their potential application as biometric identifiers. We also investigate how to exploit as much video information as possible for the automatic recognition; more precisely, we examine the possibility of integrating the head and mouth motion information with facial appearance into a multimodal biometric system, and we study the extraction of novel spatio-temporal facial features for recognition. We initially present a person recognition system that exploits the unconstrained head motion information, extracted by tracking a few facial landmarks in the image plane. In particular, we detail how each video sequence is firstly pre-processed by semiautomatically detecting the face, and then automatically tracking the facial landmarks over ...

Matta, Federico — Eurécom / Multimedia communications


Biologically Inspired 3D Face Recognition

Face recognition has been an active area of study for both computer vision and image processing communities, not only for biometrics but also for human-computer interaction applications. The purpose of the present work is to evaluate the existing 3D face recognition techniques and seek biologically motivated methods to improve them. We especially look at findings in psychophysics and cognitive science for insights. We propose a biologically motivated computational model, and focus on the earlier stages of the model, whose performance is critical for the later stages. Our emphasis is on automatic localization of facial features. We first propose a strong unsupervised learning algorithm for flexible and automatic training of Gaussian mixture models and use it in a novel feature-based algorithm for facial fiducial point localization. We also propose a novel structural correction algorithm to evaluate the quality of landmarking and ...

Salah, Albert Ali — Bogazici University


Structured and Sequential Representations For Human Action Recognition

Human action recognition problem is one of the most challenging problems in the computer vision domain, and plays an emerging role in various fields of study. In this thesis, we investigate structured and sequential representations of spatio-temporal data for recognizing human actions and for measuring action performance quality. In video sequences, we characterize each action with a graphical structure of its spatio-temporal interest points and each such interest point is qualified by its cuboid descriptors. In the case of depth data, an action is represented by the sequence of skeleton joints. Given such descriptors, we solve the human action recognition problem through a hyper-graph matching formulation. As is known, hyper-graph matching problem is NP-complete. We simplify the problem in two stages to enable a fast solution: In the first stage, we take into consideration the physical constraints such as time ...

Celiktutan, Oya — Bogazici University


Automatic Signature and Graphical Password Verification: Discriminant Features and New Application Scenarios

The proliferation of handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets brings a new scenario for biometric authentication, and in particular to automatic signature verification. Research on signature verification has been traditionally carried out using signatures acquired on digitizing tablets or Tablet-PCs. This PhD Thesis addresses the problem of user authentication on handled devices using handwritten signatures and graphical passwords based on free-form doodles, as well as the effects of biometric aging on signatures. The Thesis pretends to analyze: (i) which are the effects of mobile conditions on signature and doodle verification, (ii) which are the most distinctive features in mobile conditions, extracted from the pen or fingertip trajectory, (iii) how do different similarity computation (i.e. matching) algorithms behave with signatures and graphical passwords captured on mobile conditions, and (iv) what is the impact of aging on signature features and verification ...

Martinez-Diaz, Marcos — Universidad Autonoma de Madrid


Constrained Non-negative Matrix Factorization for Vocabulary Acquisition from Continuous Speech

One desideratum in designing cognitive robots is autonomous learning of communication skills, just like humans. The primary step towards this goal is vocabulary acquisition. Being different from the training procedures of the state-of-the-art automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems, vocabulary acquisition cannot rely on prior knowledge of language in the same way. Like what infants do, the acquisition process should be data-driven with multi-level abstraction and coupled with multi-modal inputs. To avoid lengthy training efforts in a word-by-word interactive learning process, a clever learning agent should be able to acquire vocabularies from continuous speech automatically. The work presented in this thesis is entitled \emph{Constrained Non-negative Matrix Factorization for Vocabulary Acquisition from Continuous Speech}. Enlightened by the extensively studied techniques in ASR, we design computational models to discover and represent vocabularies from continuous speech with little prior knowledge of the language to ...

Sun, Meng — Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


Spoofing and Disguise Variations in Face Recognition

Human recognition has become an important topic as the need and investments for security applications grow continuously. Biometrics enable reliable and efficient identity management systems by using physical and behavioral characteristics of the subjects that are permanent, universal and easy to access. This is why, the topic of biometrics attracts higher attention today. Numerous biometric systems exist which utilize various human characteristics. Among all biometrics traits, face recognition is advantageous in terms of accessibility and reliability. It allows identification at relatively high distances for unaware subjects that do not have to cooperate. In this dissertation, two challenges in face recognition are analyzed. The first one is face spoofing. Initially, spoofing in face recognition is explained together with the countermeasure techniques that are proposed for the protection of face recognition systems against spoofing attacks. The second challenge explored in this thesis ...

Kose, Neslihan — EURECOM


Radial Basis Function Network Robust Learning Algorithms in Computer Vision Applications

This thesis introduces new learning algorithms for Radial Basis Function (RBF) networks. RBF networks is a feed-forward two-layer neural network used for functional approximation or pattern classification applications. The proposed training algorithms are based on robust statistics. Their theoretical performance has been assessed and compared with that of classical algorithms for training RBF networks. The applications of RBF networks described in this thesis consist of simultaneously modeling moving object segmentation and optical flow estimation in image sequences and 3-D image modeling and segmentation. A Bayesian classifier model is used for the representation of the image sequence and 3-D images. This employs an energy based description of the probability functions involved. The energy functions are represented by RBF networks whose inputs are various features drawn from the images and whose outputs are objects. The hidden units embed kernel functions. Each kernel ...

Bors, Adrian G. — Aristotle University of Thessaloniki


Privacy protection preserving the utility of visual surveillance

Due to some tragic events such as crime, bank robberies and terrorist attacks, an unparalleled surge in video surveillance cameras has occurred in recent years. In consequence, our daily life is overseen everywhere (e.g. on the street, in stations, in shops and in the workplace). For example, on average, people living in London can be caught on cameras more than 300 times a day. At the same time, automatic processing technology and quality of sensors have advanced significantly, which has even enabled automatic detection, tracking and identification of individuals. With the proliferation of video surveillance systems and the progress in automatic recognition, privacy protection is now becoming a significant concern. Video surveillance is intrusive because it allows the observation of certain information that is considered as private (i.e., identity or some characteristics such as age, race, gender). Nowadays, some processing ...

Ruchaud, Natacha — Eurecom


Privacy Protecting Biometric Authentication Systems

As biometrics gains popularity and proliferates into the daily life, there is an increased concern over the loss of privacy and potential misuse of biometric data held in central repositories. The major concerns are about i) the use of biometrics to track people, ii) non-revocability of biometrics (eg. if a fingerprint is compromised it can not be canceled or reissued), and iii) disclosure of sensitive information such as race, gender and health problems which may be revealed by biometric traits. The straightforward suggestion of keeping the biometric data in a user owned token (eg. smart cards) does not completely solve the problem, since malicious users can claim that their token is broken to avoid biometric verification altogether. Put together, these concerns brought the need for privacy preserving biometric authentication methods in the recent years. In this dissertation, we survey existing ...

Kholmatov, Alisher — Sabanci University


Face Recognition's Grand Challenge: uncontrolled conditions under control

The number of cameras increases rapidly in squares, shopping centers, railway stations and airport halls. There are hundreds of cameras in the city center of Amsterdam. This is still modest compared to the tens of thousands of cameras in London, where citizens are expected to be filmed by more than three hundred cameras of over thirty separate Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) systems in a single day [84]. These CCTV systems include both publicly owned systems (railway stations, squares, airports) and privately owned systems (shops, banks, hotels). The main purpose of all these cameras is to detect, prevent and monitor crime and anti-social behaviour. Other goals of camera surveillance can be detection of unauthorized access, improvement of service, fire safety, etc. Since the terrorist attack on 9/11, detection and prevention of terrorist activities especially at high profiled locations such as airports, ...

Boom, Bas — University of Twente

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