Repository logo

Facial expression recognition using covariance matrix descriptors and local texture patterns.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Facial expression recognition (FER) is a powerful tool that is emerging rapidly due to increased computational power in current technologies. It has many applications in the fields of human-computer interaction, psychological behaviour analysis, and image understanding. However, FER presently is not fully realised due to the lack of an effective facial feature descriptor. The covariance matrix as a feature descriptor is popular in object detection and texture recognition. Its innate ability to fuse multiple local features within a domain is proving to be useful in applications such as biometrics. Developing methods also prevalent in pattern recognition are local texture patterns such as Local Binary Pattern (LBP) and Local Directional Pattern (LDP) because of their fast computation and robustness against illumination variations. This study will examine the performance of covariance feature descriptors that incorporate local texture patterns concerning applications in facial expression recognition. The proposed method will focus on generating feature descriptors to extract robust and discriminative features that can aid against extrinsic factors affecting facial expression recognition, such as illumination, pose, scale, rotation and occlusion. The study also explores the influence of using holistic versus componentbased approaches to FER. A novel feature descriptor referred to as Local Directional Covariance Matrices (LDCM) is proposed. The covariance descriptors will consist of fusing features such as location, intensity and filter responses, and include LBP and LDP into the covariance structure. Tests conducted will examine the accuracy of different variations of covariance features and the impact of segmenting the face into equal sized blocks or special landmark regions, i.e. eyes, nose and mouth, for classification. The results on JAFFE, CK+ and ISED facial expression databases establish that the proposed descriptor achieves a high level of performance for FER at a reduced feature size. The effectiveness of using a component-based approach with special landmarks displayed stable results across different datasets and environments.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.