Super-resolution image processing with application to face recognition

Lin, Frank Chi-Hao (2008) Super-resolution image processing with application to face recognition. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

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Subject identification from surveillance imagery has become an important task for forensic investigation. Good quality images of the subjects are essential for the surveillance footage to be useful. However, surveillance videos are of low resolution due to data storage requirements. In addition, subjects typically occupy a small portion of a camera's field of view. Faces, which are of primary interest, occupy an even smaller array of pixels. For reliable face recognition from surveillance video, there is a need to generate higher resolution images of the subject's face from low-resolution video. Super-resolution image reconstruction is a signal processing based approach that aims to reconstruct a high-resolution image by combining a number of low-resolution images. The low-resolution images that differ by a sub-pixel shift contain complementary information as they are different "snapshots" of the same scene. Once geometrically registered onto a common high-resolution grid, they can be merged into a single image with higher resolution. As super-resolution is a computationally intensive process, traditional reconstruction-based super-resolution methods simplify the problem by restricting the correspondence between low-resolution frames to global motion such as translational and affine transformation. Surveillance footage however, consists of independently moving non-rigid objects such as faces. Applying global registration methods result in registration errors that lead to artefacts that adversely affect recognition. The human face also presents additional problems such as selfocclusion and reflectance variation that even local registration methods find difficult to model. In this dissertation, a robust optical flow-based super-resolution technique was proposed to overcome these difficulties. Real surveillance footage and the Terrascope database were used to compare the reconstruction quality of the proposed method against interpolation and existing super-resolution algorithms. Results show that the proposed robust optical flow-based method consistently produced more accurate reconstructions. This dissertation also outlines a systematic investigation of how super-resolution affects automatic face recognition algorithms with an emphasis on comparing reconstruction- and learning-based super-resolution approaches. While reconstruction-based super-resolution approaches like the proposed method attempt to recover the aliased high frequency information, learning-based methods synthesise them instead. Learning-based methods are able to synthesise plausible high frequency detail at high magnification ratios but the appearance of the face may change to the extent that the person no longer looks like him/herself. Although super-resolution has been applied to facial imagery, very little has been reported elsewhere on measuring the performance changes from super-resolved images. Intuitively, super-resolution improves image fidelity, and hence should improve the ability to distinguish between faces and consequently automatic face recognition accuracy. This is the first study to comprehensively investigate the effect of super-resolution on face recognition. Since super-resolution is a computationally intensive process it is important to understand the benefits in relation to the trade-off in computations. A framework for testing face recognition algorithms with multi-resolution images was proposed, using the XM2VTS database as a sample implementation. Results show that super-resolution offers a small improvement over bilinear interpolation in recognition performance in the absence of noise and that super-resolution is more beneficial when the input images are noisy since noise is attenuated during the frame fusion process.

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ID Code: 16703
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Chandran, Vinod, Fookes, Clinton, & Sridharan, Subramanian
Keywords: super-resolution, face recognition, optical flow, image processing, surveillance video, computer vision, pattern recognition, biometrics, principal components analysis, elastic bunch graph matching
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Engineering Systems
Department: Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Frank Chi-Hao Lin
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:08
Last Modified: 13 May 2012 22:20

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