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Face Detection for Low Power Event Detection in Intelligent Surveillance System

2013. Sep ~ Present  


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1. Introduction

l  Recently, the development of intelligent surveillance system increasingly requires low power consumption.

l  For the power saving, this research presents an event detection function based on automatically detected human faces, which adaptively convert from low power camera mode to high performance camera mode.

l  We propose an efficient face detection (FD) method for operating under the low power camera mode.

o    Two-stage FD structure: ROI selection and FP reduction.

o    This requires a very low computational complexity and memory requirements without sacrificing the face detection robustness.

o    Through the hardware implementation, the proposed method is validated in the gate level simulation.

2. Human Face based Event Detection for Intelligent Surveillance System

l  Event detection function in order to reduce the power consumption

Fig. 1. Operation scenario using the face based event detection two camera modes.

o    Low power camera mode (QVGA monochrome frames) is always turned on for continuously sensing human intrusions while keeping power consumption low.

o    High power camera mode (HD color frames) wakes up when a face is detected by FD module. (Conducting the object recognition)

l  The use of the two different camera modes is able to achieve significant power savings over traditional video surveillance systems which use a single high performance camera mode (HD color frames only).

3. Proposed Face Detection for Low Power Camera

l  Proposed face detector

o    Minimum face size: 16x16 pixels

o    Input image: QVGA (320x240 pixels) resolution, monochrome frame, and 4-bit quantized image (for reducing the power dissipated in image sensor)

o    Two-stage structure (please see Fig. 2)

  1st stage: ROI (to be scanned for face detection) selection

  2nd stage: false positive (FP) reduction (only ROIs are examined)

Fig. 2. Overview of the proposed FD method for low power camera mode.

o    The two stage enables to speed up FD without using additional skin color information.

o    The proposed FD deals with very small sized faces (e.g., 16x16 pixels) due to a robust feature extraction.

o    In terms of SRAM memory usage, the proposed FD itself requires very low power consumption.


l  1) First Stage: ROI Selection

o    Pre-filtering: image mean and variance (facial structure filter), refer to the Fig. 3.

  To speed up FD, we reject scan windows that have too large spatial variances or too small spatial variances compared to face. (standard deviation measurement)

  We reject scan windows that have different structure from face in which eye region is brighter than the cheek region. (In Fig. 3(b), 8x3 pixels corresponding to eyes and 8x2 pixels corresponding to cheek and nose)


Fig. 3. Computation example of face mean and variance. (a) windows for variance, (b) windows for means.


o    Feature extraction: local block texture feature

  Divide each window region (16x16 pixels) to three blocks as shown in Fig. 4.

  Each block regions are separately represented by histogram feature vectors (less susceptible to subtle rotation and translation in face representation).

  Histogram based feature: Local Binary Pattern (LBP) due to the following advantages

         Low computational complexity

         Invariance against monotonic illumination variation

  The histograms for each block (hL_eye, hR_eye, hmouth) are obtained with the LBP parameters (P=4 and R=1), then concatenated (refer to the Fig. 4.). The final histograms hSW is:


Fig. 4. Illustration of the block texture feature extraction.


o    Multiple feature templates matching: L1-norm (Manhattan distance) 

  The total histogram feature vector is compared to each feature template one by one.

  The comparison is repeated until the best-matched feature template is found.

  When computing a distance between templates and test, we use the L1-norm to reduce the computational complexity in hardware.

  If the L1-norm distance is smaller than the pre-defined threshold, the scan window is classified as a face candidate.

Fig. 5. Illustration of the proposed multi-view face detection using feature templates matching.


l  2) Second Stage: False Positive Reduction Using Strong Classifier

o    As the strong classifier, we adopt the linear support vector machine (SVM) due to its robustness and high generalization capability.

o    SVM learning by the following quadratic optimization functions (where the kernel function in linear SVM is an inner product):

o    Using the obtained SVM training model (i.e., support vectors, Lagrangian multipliers (ai), and bias (b)), the SVM confidence value h for hSW is computed by using the following equation:

o    The weight vector (w) can be defined by the linear combination of support vectors with the Lagrangian multipliers.

o    We can see that the computation of the SVM confidence value requires only one inner product operation in the linear SVM. 

o    The scan window is determined as a face if the confidence value is larger than the pre-defined value, otherwise, it is determined as a non-face.

4. Experiments

l  Database for evaluation: Videos acquired by using a web camera (Microsoft LifeCam) and a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera (NCD-2000P)


Fig. 6. Example of video frames with the results of the proposed method. (a) For V1 with occlusion between multiple subjects. (b) For V2 with blurred and flashed face. (c) For V3 with shaded face. (d) For V4 with tilted face by high camera angle.


Fig. 7. Example of video frames with the results of the proposed method. (a) For V5 (including illumination variation). (b) For V6 (including pose variation).

Table 1. Test videos used in the experiments.

Table 2. Test videos used in the experiments with different type of challenges.

l  The FD uses sliding window based detection based on down-sampling, where the nearest-neighbor interpolation is used with the scale factor 1.4. The window shift for scanning is 2 pixels. The detection results overlapped at a location are merged to form a final detection.

l  Feature templates construction

o    We collected 64 face images of various styles, which were not present in the test video.

o    To deal with variation in facial pose, we considered the three different poses, i.e., frontal, +45 degree in yaw, and -45 degree in yaw.

o    In each pose, the block texture feature was extracted from every face image.

l  SVM Training using LIBSVM library

o    We collected the face and non-face images from random images in web, video frames captured by the web camera, and images from the public face databases (e.g., FERET DB).

o    For training, 1,084 images for face samples, and 7,120 images for non-face samples

l  For the comparative evaluation, we presented the two existing well-known FD methods

o    Viola-Jones face detector (adaptive boosting with Haar-like features) using OpenCV

o    Adaptive boosting (AdaBoost) based on LBP feature (LBP+AdaBoost) using OpenCV


l  1) Face Detection Performance Evaluation

o    For test, the subjects move towards camera (where the videos contained very challenging frames with occlusion, blurring, highlighting, head tilting, etc.)

o    According to Table 3, the proposed FD outperforms the other two methods.


Table 3. Experimental results for V1-V4. (a) For faces larger than 24x24 pixels. (b) For faces larger than 16x16 pixels.

o    To examine the robustness of the proposed FD method to illumination variations and pose variations, we performed FD on the V5 and V6.

o    Illumination variations: ranging from 5 lux to 250 lux with camera exposure value set to -8 (refer to Table 4.)

  The proposed FD outperforms Viola-Jones method.

  This stems from the face of the relative robustness of texture feature to illumination variation than Haar-like feature.

o    Pose variations: ranging from +60 degree (looking at right) to -60 degree (looking at left) (refer to Table 5.)

  The proposed FD is also robust to pose variation due to the use of multiple templates.


Table 4. Experimental result for V5 with illumination variation.

Table 5. Experimental result for V6 with pose variation.


l  2) Face Detection Simulation for Hardware Implementation

o    Most of power consumptions in a digital system are directly affected by memory usage, i.e., data transfer and storing a large amount of data in a memory.

o    In order to reduce memory usage, our designed FD system optimizes the system architecture and reduces the number of required gate counts.

o    In particular, the image scaling (for down-sampling) for obtaining multi-scale images for the FD task is implemented by a line memory (SRAM) based design unlike the previous implementations based on a frame memory (DRAM).

  It can considerably reduce the number of gate counts for low power consumption.

o    In addition, our FD system can process all of scaled data simultaneously through merging line memories for each scaled image.

o    Moreover, to increase the speed of the operation and parallelism, our FD system uses a pipelined structure for the block texture feature extraction, and the computations of the mean and the variance used in the pre-filtering.

o    To verify the effectiveness of the hardware implementation of the proposed FD method, the designed FD system was evaluated by gate level simulation using DongBu 0.11um cell library.

  This system can be implemented with 83K gates.

  In particular, only 7K gates are required for generating a 320x240 pixels image scaled pyramid.

Fig. 8. Overall block diagram of the implemented hardware architecture.

* Contact Person: Prof. Yong Man Ro (ymro@kaist.ac.kr)


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1.     Hyung-Il Kim, Seung Ho Lee, Jung Ik Moon, Hyun-Sang Park, and Yong Man Ro, Face Detection for Low Power Event Detection in Intelligent Surveillance System, IEEE International Conference on Digital Signal Processing (DSP), Hong Kong, 2014.


: http://ivylab.kaist.ac.kr/image/demo/project_demo.gif

ü  Video1: Face Detection with GUI that can control parameters; 1) template matching threshold, 2) FP reduction (SVM confidence value), and 3) merging parameters in video.

o    Note that

  White box: windows passed by 1st stage

  Red box: windows passed by 2nd stage

  Green circle: final decision by merging candidates (our FD returns the position of face candidate as an event detector.)


ü  Video2: Face detection result, where the left upper corner x.x m means the first detected distance from a camera and the green box is the detected face with the size of face.