Facial Micro-Expression Detection in Hi-Speed Video Based on Facial Action Coding System (FACS)

Senya POLIKOVSKY  Yoshinari KAMEDA  Yuichi OHTA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E96-D   No.1   pp.81-92
Publication Date: 2013/01/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E96.D.81
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Pattern Recognition
facial motion analysis,  high speed camera,  video descriptor,  

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Facial micro-expressions are fast and subtle facial motions that are considered as one of the most useful external signs for detecting hidden emotional changes in a person. However, they are not easy to detect and measure as they appear only for a short time, with small muscle contraction in the facial areas where salient features are not available. We propose a new computer vision method for detecting and measuring timing characteristics of facial micro-expressions. The core of this method is based on a descriptor that combines pre-processing masks, histograms and concatenation of spatial-temporal gradient vectors. Presented 3D gradient histogram descriptor is able to detect and measure the timing characteristics of the fast and subtle changes of the facial skin surface. This method is specifically designed for analysis of videos recorded using a hi-speed 200 fps camera. Final classification of micro expressions is done by using a k-mean classifier and a voting procedure. The Facial Action Coding System was utilized to annotate the appearance and dynamics of the expressions in our new hi-speed micro-expressions video database. The efficiency of the proposed approach was validated using our new hi-speed video database.