10,16,2021

News Blog Paper China
AI in Pursuit of Happiness, Finding Only Sadness: Multi-Modal Facial Emotion Recognition Challenge2019-10-24   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
The importance of automated Facial Emotion Recognition (FER) grows the more common human-machine interactions become, which will only continue to increase dramatically with time. A common method to describe human sentiment or feeling is the categorical model the `7 basic emotions', consisting of `Angry', `Disgust', `Fear', `Happiness', `Sadness', `Surprise' and `Neutral'. The `Emotion Recognition in the Wild' (EmotiW) competition is now in its 7th year and has become the standard benchmark for measuring FER performance. The focus of this paper is the EmotiW sub-challenge of classifying videos in the `Acted Facial Expression in the Wild' (AFEW) dataset, consisting of both visual and audio modalities, into one of the above classes. Machine learning has exploded as a research topic in recent years, with advancements in `Deep Learning' a key part of this. Although Deep Learning techniques have been widely applied to the FER task by entrants in previous years, this paper has two main contributions: (i) to apply the latest `state-of-the-art' visual and temporal networks and (ii) exploring various methods of fusing features extracted from the visual and audio elements to enrich the information available to the final model making the prediction. There are a number of complex issues that arise when trying to classify emotions for `in-the-wild' video sequences, which the above two approaches attempt to directly address. There are some positive findings when comparing the results of this paper to past submissions, indicating that further research into the proposed methods and fine-tuning of the models deployed, could result in another step forwards in the field of automated FER.
 
Deep Multi-Facial Patches Aggregation Network For Facial Expression Recognition2020-02-20   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
In this paper, we propose an approach for Facial Expressions Recognition (FER) based on a deep multi-facial patches aggregation network. Deep features are learned from facial patches using deep sub-networks and aggregated within one deep architecture for expression classification . Several problems may affect the performance of deep-learning based FER approaches, in particular, the small size of existing FER datasets which might not be sufficient to train large deep learning networks. Moreover, it is extremely time-consuming to collect and annotate a large number of facial images. To account for this, we propose two data augmentation techniques for facial expression generation to expand FER labeled training datasets. We evaluate the proposed framework on three FER datasets. Results show that the proposed approach achieves state-of-art FER deep learning approaches performance when the model is trained and tested on images from the same dataset. Moreover, the proposed data augmentation techniques improve the expression recognition rate, and thus can be a solution for training deep learning FER models using small datasets. The accuracy degrades significantly when testing for dataset bias.
 
Facial Emotion Recognition: State of the Art Performance on FER20132021-05-08   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Facial emotion recognition (FER) is significant for human-computer interaction such as clinical practice and behavioral description. Accurate and robust FER by computer models remains challenging due to the heterogeneity of human faces and variations in images such as different facial pose and lighting. Among all techniques for FER, deep learning models, especially Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) have shown great potential due to their powerful automatic feature extraction and computational efficiency. In this work, we achieve the highest single-network classification accuracy on the FER2013 dataset. We adopt the VGGNet architecture, rigorously fine-tune its hyperparameters, and experiment with various optimization methods. To our best knowledge, our model achieves state-of-the-art single-network accuracy of 73.28 % on FER2013 without using extra training data.
 
The FaceChannel: A Light-weight Deep Neural Network for Facial Expression Recognition2020-04-17   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Current state-of-the-art models for automatic FER are based on very deep neural networks that are difficult to train. This makes it challenging to adapt these models to changing conditions, a requirement from FER models given the subjective nature of affect perception and understanding. In this paper, we address this problem by formalizing the FaceChannel, a light-weight neural network that has much fewer parameters than common deep neural networks. We perform a series of experiments on different benchmark datasets to demonstrate how the FaceChannel achieves a comparable, if not better, performance, as compared to the current state-of-the-art in FER.
 
The FaceChannel: A Fast & Furious Deep Neural Network for Facial Expression Recognition2020-09-15   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Current state-of-the-art models for automatic Facial Expression Recognition (FER) are based on very deep neural networks that are effective but rather expensive to train. Given the dynamic conditions of FER, this characteristic hinders such models of been used as a general affect recognition. In this paper, we address this problem by formalizing the FaceChannel, a light-weight neural network that has much fewer parameters than common deep neural networks. We introduce an inhibitory layer that helps to shape the learning of facial features in the last layer of the network and thus improving performance while reducing the number of trainable parameters. To evaluate our model, we perform a series of experiments on different benchmark datasets and demonstrate how the FaceChannel achieves a comparable, if not better, performance to the current state-of-the-art in FER. Our experiments include cross-dataset analysis, to estimate how our model behaves on different affective recognition conditions. We conclude our paper with an analysis of how FaceChannel learns and adapt the learned facial features towards the different datasets.
 
Continuous Emotion Recognition with Spatiotemporal Convolutional Neural Networks2020-11-18   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
The attention in affect computing and emotion recognition has increased in the last decade. Facial expressions are one of the most powerful ways for depicting specific patterns in human behavior and describing human emotional state. Nevertheless, even for humans, identifying facial expressions is difficult, and automatic video-based systems for facial expression recognition (FER) have often suffered from variations in expressions among individuals, and from a lack of diverse and cross-culture training datasets. However, with video sequences captured in-the-wild and more complex emotion representation such as dimensional models, deep FER systems have the ability to learn more discriminative feature representations. In this paper, we present a survey of the state-of-the-art approaches based on convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for long video sequences recorded with in-the-wild settings, by considering the continuous emotion space of valence and arousal. Since few studies have used 3D-CNN for FER systems and dimensional representation of emotions, we propose an inflated 3D-CNN architecture, allowing for weight inflation of pre-trained 2D-CNN model, in order to operate the essential transfer learning for our video-based application. As a baseline, we also considered a 2D-CNN architecture cascaded network with a long short term memory network, therefore we could finally conclude with a model comparison over two approaches for spatiotemporal representation of facial features and performing the regression of valence/arousal values for emotion prediction. The experimental results on RAF-DB and SEWA-DB datasets have shown that these fine-tuned architectures allow to effectively encode the spatiotemporal information from raw pixel images, and achieved far better results than the current state-of-the-art.
 
Improving Facial Emotion Recognition Systems Using Gradient and Laplacian Images2019-02-12   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
In this work, we have proposed several enhancements to improve the performance of any facial emotion recognition (FER) system. We believe that the changes in the positions of the fiducial points and the intensities capture the crucial information regarding the emotion of a face image. We propose the use of the gradient and the Laplacian of the input image together with the original input into a convolutional neural network (CNN). These modifications help the network learn additional information from the gradient and Laplacian of the images. However, the plain CNN is not able to extract this information from the raw images. We have performed a number of experiments on two well known datasets KDEF and FERplus. Our approach enhances the already high performance of state-of-the-art FER systems by 3 to 5%.
 
Expression Recognition Analysis in the Wild2021-01-22   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Facial Expression Recognition(FER) is one of the most important topic in Human-Computer interactions(HCI). In this work we report details and experimental results about a facial expression recognition method based on state-of-the-art methods. We fine-tuned a SeNet deep learning architecture pre-trained on the well-known VGGFace2 dataset, on the AffWild2 facial expression recognition dataset. The main goal of this work is to define a baseline for a novel method we are going to propose in the near future. This paper is also required by the Affective Behavior Analysis in-the-wild (ABAW) competition in order to evaluate on the test set this approach. The results reported here are on the validation set and are related on the Expression Challenge part (seven basic emotion recognition) of the competition. We will update them as soon as the actual results on the test set will be published on the leaderboard.
 
Disentanglement for Discriminative Visual Recognition2020-06-14   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Recent successes of deep learning-based recognition rely on maintaining the content related to the main-task label. However, how to explicitly dispel the noisy signals for better generalization in a controllable manner remains an open issue. For instance, various factors such as identity-specific attributes, pose, illumination and expression affect the appearance of face images. Disentangling the identity-specific factors is potentially beneficial for facial expression recognition (FER). This chapter systematically summarize the detrimental factors as task-relevant/irrelevant semantic variations and unspecified latent variation. In this chapter, these problems are casted as either a deep metric learning problem or an adversarial minimax game in the latent space. For the former choice, a generalized adaptive (N+M)-tuplet clusters loss function together with the identity-aware hard-negative mining and online positive mining scheme can be used for identity-invariant FER. The better FER performance can be achieved by combining the deep metric loss and softmax loss in a unified two fully connected layer branches framework via joint optimization. For the latter solution, it is possible to equipping an end-to-end conditional adversarial network with the ability to decompose an input sample into three complementary parts. The discriminative representation inherits the desired invariance property guided by prior knowledge of the task, which is marginal independent to the task-relevant/irrelevant semantic and latent variations. The framework achieves top performance on a serial of tasks, including lighting, makeup, disguise-tolerant face recognition and facial attributes recognition. This chapter systematically summarize the popular and practical solution for disentanglement to achieve more discriminative visual recognition.
 
Deep Multi-Facial patches Aggregation Network for Expression Classification from Face Images2020-02-24   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Emotional Intelligence in Human-Computer Interaction has attracted increasing attention from researchers in multidisciplinary research fields including psychology, computer vision, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and related disciplines. Human prone to naturally interact with computers face-to-face. Human Expressions is an important key to better link human and computers. Thus, designing interfaces able to understand human expressions and emotions can improve Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) for better communication. In this paper, we investigate HCI via a deep multi-facial patches aggregation network for Face Expression Recognition (FER). Deep features are extracted from facial parts and aggregated for expression classification. Several problems may affect the performance of the proposed framework like the small size of FER datasets and the high number of parameters to learn. For That, two data augmentation techniques are proposed for facial expression generation to expand the labeled training. The proposed framework is evaluated on the extended Cohn-Konade dataset (CK+) and promising results are achieved.
 
Efficient Facial Feature Learning with Wide Ensemble-based Convolutional Neural Networks2020-01-17   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Ensemble methods, traditionally built with independently trained de-correlated models, have proven to be efficient methods for reducing the remaining residual generalization error, which results in robust and accurate methods for real-world applications. In the context of deep learning, however, training an ensemble of deep networks is costly and generates high redundancy which is inefficient. In this paper, we present experiments on Ensembles with Shared Representations (ESRs) based on convolutional networks to demonstrate, quantitatively and qualitatively, their data processing efficiency and scalability to large-scale datasets of facial expressions. We show that redundancy and computational load can be dramatically reduced by varying the branching level of the ESR without loss of diversity and generalization power, which are both important for ensemble performance. Experiments on large-scale datasets suggest that ESRs reduce the remaining residual generalization error on the AffectNet and FER+ datasets, reach human-level performance, and outperform state-of-the-art methods on facial expression recognition in the wild using emotion and affect concepts.
 
Towards Fair Affective Robotics: Continual Learning for Mitigating Bias in Facial Expression and Action Unit Recognition2021-03-15   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
As affective robots become integral in human life, these agents must be able to fairly evaluate human affective expressions without discriminating against specific demographic groups. Identifying bias in Machine Learning (ML) systems as a critical problem, different approaches have been proposed to mitigate such biases in the models both at data and algorithmic levels. In this work, we propose Continual Learning (CL) as an effective strategy to enhance fairness in Facial Expression Recognition (FER) systems, guarding against biases arising from imbalances in data distributions. We compare different state-of-the-art bias mitigation approaches with CL-based strategies for fairness on expression recognition and Action Unit (AU) detection tasks using popular benchmarks for each; RAF-DB and BP4D. Our experiments show that CL-based methods, on average, outperform popular bias mitigation techniques, strengthening the need for further investigation into CL for the development of fairer FER algorithms.
 
Domain-Incremental Continual Learning for Mitigating Bias in Facial Expression and Action Unit Recognition2021-03-15   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
As Facial Expression Recognition (FER) systems become integrated into our daily lives, these systems need to prioritise making fair decisions instead of aiming at higher individual accuracy scores. Ranging from surveillance systems to diagnosing mental and emotional health conditions of individuals, these systems need to balance the accuracy vs fairness trade-off to make decisions that do not unjustly discriminate against specific under-represented demographic groups. Identifying bias as a critical problem in facial analysis systems, different methods have been proposed that aim to mitigate bias both at data and algorithmic levels. In this work, we propose the novel usage of Continual Learning (CL), in particular, using Domain-Incremental Learning (Domain-IL) settings, as a potent bias mitigation method to enhance the fairness of FER systems while guarding against biases arising from skewed data distributions. We compare different non-CL-based and CL-based methods for their classification accuracy and fairness scores on expression recognition and Action Unit (AU) detection tasks using two popular benchmarks, the RAF-DB and BP4D datasets, respectively. Our experimental results show that CL-based methods, on average, outperform other popular bias mitigation techniques on both accuracy and fairness metrics.
 
Emotion Recognition System from Speech and Visual Information based on Convolutional Neural Networks2020-02-29   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Emotion recognition has become an important field of research in the human-computer interactions domain. The latest advancements in the field show that combining visual with audio information lead to better results if compared to the case of using a single source of information separately. From a visual point of view, a human emotion can be recognized by analyzing the facial expression of the person. More precisely, the human emotion can be described through a combination of several Facial Action Units. In this paper, we propose a system that is able to recognize emotions with a high accuracy rate and in real time, based on deep Convolutional Neural Networks. In order to increase the accuracy of the recognition system, we analyze also the speech data and fuse the information coming from both sources, i.e., visual and audio. Experimental results show the effectiveness of the proposed scheme for emotion recognition and the importance of combining visual with audio data.
 
EmoBed: Strengthening Monomodal Emotion Recognition via Training with Crossmodal Emotion Embeddings2019-07-23   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Despite remarkable advances in emotion recognition, they are severely restrained from either the essentially limited property of the employed single modality, or the synchronous presence of all involved multiple modalities. Motivated by this, we propose a novel crossmodal emotion embedding framework called EmoBed, which aims to leverage the knowledge from other auxiliary modalities to improve the performance of an emotion recognition system at hand. The framework generally includes two main learning components, i. e., joint multimodal training and crossmodal training. Both of them tend to explore the underlying semantic emotion information but with a shared recognition network or with a shared emotion embedding space, respectively. In doing this, the enhanced system trained with this approach can efficiently make use of the complementary information from other modalities. Nevertheless, the presence of these auxiliary modalities is not demanded during inference. To empirically investigate the effectiveness and robustness of the proposed framework, we perform extensive experiments on the two benchmark databases RECOLA and OMG-Emotion for the tasks of dimensional emotion regression and categorical emotion classification, respectively. The obtained results show that the proposed framework significantly outperforms related baselines in monomodal inference, and are also competitive or superior to the recently reported systems, which emphasises the importance of the proposed crossmodal learning for emotion recognition.
 
Emotion Correlation Mining Through Deep Learning Models on Natural Language Text2020-07-28   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Emotion analysis has been attracting researchers' attention. Most previous works in the artificial intelligence field focus on recognizing emotion rather than mining the reason why emotions are not or wrongly recognized. Correlation among emotions contributes to the failure of emotion recognition. In this paper, we try to fill the gap between emotion recognition and emotion correlation mining through natural language text from web news. Correlation among emotions, expressed as the confusion and evolution of emotion, is primarily caused by human emotion cognitive bias. To mine emotion correlation from emotion recognition through text, three kinds of features and two deep neural network models are presented. The emotion confusion law is extracted through orthogonal basis. The emotion evolution law is evaluated from three perspectives, one-step shift, limited-step shifts, and shortest path transfer. The method is validated using three datasets-the titles, the bodies, and the comments of news articles, covering both objective and subjective texts in varying lengths (long and short). The experimental results show that, in subjective comments, emotions are easily mistaken as anger. Comments tend to arouse emotion circulations of love-anger and sadness-anger. In objective news, it is easy to recognize text emotion as love and cause fear-joy circulation. That means, journalists may try to attract attention using fear and joy words but arouse the emotion love instead; After news release, netizens generate emotional comments to express their intense emotions, i.e., anger, sadness, and love. These findings could provide insights for applications regarding affective interaction such as network public sentiment, social media communication, and human-computer interaction.
 
The phonetic bases of vocal expressed emotion: natural versus acted2020-07-24   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Can vocal emotions be emulated? This question has been a recurrent concern of the speech community, and has also been vigorously investigated. It has been fueled further by its link to the issue of validity of acted emotion databases. Much of the speech and vocal emotion research has relied on acted emotion databases as valid proxies for studying natural emotions. To create models that generalize to natural settings, it is crucial to work with valid prototypes -- ones that can be assumed to reliably represent natural emotions. More concretely, it is important to study emulated emotions against natural emotions in terms of their physiological, and psychological concomitants. In this paper, we present an on-scale systematic study of the differences between natural and acted vocal emotions. We use a self-attention based emotion classification model to understand the phonetic bases of emotions by discovering the most 'attended' phonemes for each class of emotions. We then compare these attended-phonemes in their importance and distribution across acted and natural classes. Our tests show significant differences in the manner and choice of phonemes in acted and natural speech, concluding moderate to low validity and value in using acted speech databases for emotion classification tasks.
 
HEU Emotion: A Large-scale Database for Multi-modal Emotion Recognition in the Wild2020-07-24   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
The study of affective computing in the wild setting is underpinned by databases. Existing multimodal emotion databases in the real-world conditions are few and small, with a limited number of subjects and expressed in a single language. To meet this requirement, we collected, annotated, and prepared to release a new natural state video database (called HEU Emotion). HEU Emotion contains a total of 19,004 video clips, which is divided into two parts according to the data source. The first part contains videos downloaded from Tumblr, Google, and Giphy, including 10 emotions and two modalities (facial expression and body posture). The second part includes corpus taken manually from movies, TV series, and variety shows, consisting of 10 emotions and three modalities (facial expression, body posture, and emotional speech). HEU Emotion is by far the most extensive multi-modal emotional database with 9,951 subjects. In order to provide a benchmark for emotion recognition, we used many conventional machine learning and deep learning methods to evaluate HEU Emotion. We proposed a Multi-modal Attention module to fuse multi-modal features adaptively. After multi-modal fusion, the recognition accuracies for the two parts increased by 2.19% and 4.01% respectively over those of single-modal facial expression recognition.
 
Multimodal Local-Global Ranking Fusion for Emotion Recognition2018-08-12   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Emotion recognition is a core research area at the intersection of artificial intelligence and human communication analysis. It is a significant technical challenge since humans display their emotions through complex idiosyncratic combinations of the language, visual and acoustic modalities. In contrast to traditional multimodal fusion techniques, we approach emotion recognition from both direct person-independent and relative person-dependent perspectives. The direct person-independent perspective follows the conventional emotion recognition approach which directly infers absolute emotion labels from observed multimodal features. The relative person-dependent perspective approaches emotion recognition in a relative manner by comparing partial video segments to determine if there was an increase or decrease in emotional intensity. Our proposed model integrates these direct and relative prediction perspectives by dividing the emotion recognition task into three easier subtasks. The first subtask involves a multimodal local ranking of relative emotion intensities between two short segments of a video. The second subtask uses local rankings to infer global relative emotion ranks with a Bayesian ranking algorithm. The third subtask incorporates both direct predictions from observed multimodal behaviors and relative emotion ranks from local-global rankings for final emotion prediction. Our approach displays excellent performance on an audio-visual emotion recognition benchmark and improves over other algorithms for multimodal fusion.
 
Angry or Climbing Stairs? Towards Physiological Emotion Recognition in the Wild2018-11-12   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Inferring emotions from physiological signals has gained much traction in the last years. Physiological responses to emotions, however, are commonly interfered and overlapped by physical activities, posing a challenge towards emotion recognition in the wild. In this paper, we address this challenge by investigating new features and machine-learning models for emotion recognition, non-sensitive to physical-based interferences. We recorded physiological signals from 18 participants that were exposed to emotions before and while performing physical activities to assess the performance of non-sensitive emotion recognition models. We trained models with the least exhaustive physical activity (sitting) and tested with the remaining, more exhausting activities. For three different emotion categories, we achieve classification accuracies ranging from 47.88% - 73.35% for selected feature sets and per participant. Furthermore, we investigate the performance across all participants and of each activity individually. In this regard, we achieve similar results, between 55.17% and 67.41%, indicating the viability of emotion recognition models not being influenced by single physical activities.