An integrative approach to face and expression recognition from three-dimensional scans

Chao Li, Florida International University


Biometrics is afield of study which pursues the association of a person's identity with his/her physiological or behavioral characteristics. As one aspect of biometrics, face recognition has attracted special attention because it is a natural and noninvasive means to identify individuals. Most of the previous studies in face recognition are based on two-dimensional (2D) intensity images. Face recognition based on 2D intensity images, however, is sensitive to environment illumination and subject orientation changes, affecting the recognition results. With the development of three-dimensional (3D) scanners, 3D face recognition is being explored as an alternative to the traditional 2D methods for face recognition. This dissertation proposes a method in which the expression and the identity of a face are determined in an integrated fashion from 3D scans. In this framework, there is a front end expression recognition module which sorts the incoming 3D face according to the expression detected in the 3D scans. Then, scans with neutral expressions are processed by a corresponding 3D neutral face recognition module. Alternatively, if a scan displays a non-neutral expression, e.g., a smiling expression, it will be routed to an appropriate specialized recognition module for smiling face recognition. The expression recognition method proposed in this dissertation is innovative in that it uses information from 3D scans to perform the classification task. A smiling face recognition module was developed, based on the statistical modeling of the variance between faces with neutral expression and faces with a smiling expression. The proposed expression and face recognition framework was tested with a database containing 120 3D scans from 30 subjects (Half are neutral faces and half are smiling faces). It is shown that the proposed framework achieves a recognition rate 10% higher than attempting the identification with only the neutral face recognition module.

Subject Area

Electrical engineering|Computer science

Recommended Citation

Li, Chao, "An integrative approach to face and expression recognition from three-dimensional scans" (2006). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3235933.