On robust face recognition via sparse encoding : the good, the bad, and the ugly
Wong, Yongkang, Harandi, Mehrtash T., & Sanderson, Conrad (2013) On robust face recognition via sparse encoding : the good, the bad, and the ugly. Cornell University Library / arXiv, Ithaca, NY.
In the field of face recognition, Sparse Representation (SR) has received considerable attention during the past few years. Most of the relevant literature focuses on holistic descriptors in closed-set identification applications. The underlying assumption in SR-based methods is that each class in the gallery has sufficient samples and the query lies on the subspace spanned by the gallery of the same class. Unfortunately, such assumption is easily violated in the more challenging face verification scenario, where an algorithm is required to determine if two faces (where one or both have not been seen before) belong to the same person. In this paper, we first discuss why previous attempts with SR might not be applicable to verification problems. We then propose an alternative approach to face verification via SR. Specifically, we propose to use explicit SR encoding on local image patches rather than the entire face. The obtained sparse signals are pooled via averaging to form multiple region descriptors, which are then concatenated to form an overall face descriptor. Due to the deliberate loss spatial relations within each region (caused by averaging), the resulting descriptor is robust to misalignment & various image deformations. Within the proposed framework, we evaluate several SR encoding techniques: l1-minimisation, Sparse Autoencoder Neural Network (SANN), and an implicit probabilistic technique based on Gaussian Mixture Models. Thorough experiments on AR, FERET, exYaleB, BANCA and ChokePoint datasets show that the proposed local SR approach obtains considerably better and more robust performance than several previous state-of-the-art holistic SR methods, in both verification and closed-set identification problems. The experiments also show that l1-minimisation based encoding has a considerably higher computational than the other techniques, but leads to higher recognition rates.
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