WACV 2009
Conference paper

Attribute-based people search in surveillance environments

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We propose a novel framework for searching for people in surveillance environments. Rather than relying on face recognition technology, which is known to be sensitive to typical surveillance conditions such as lighting changes, face pose variation, and low-resolution imagery, we approach the problem in a different way: we search for people based on a parsing of human parts and their attributes, including facial hair, eyewear, clothing color, etc. These attributes can be extracted using detectors learned from large amounts of training data. A complete system that implements our framework is presented. At the interface, the user can specify a set of personal characteristics, and the system then retrieves events that match the provided description. For example, a possible query is "show me the bald people who entered a given building last Saturday wearing a red shirt and sunglasses." This capability is useful in several applications, such as finding suspects or missing people. To evaluate the performance of our approach, we present extensive experiments on a set of images collected from the Internet, on infrared imagery, and on two-and-a-half months of video from a real surveillance environment. We are not aware of any similar surveillance system capable of automatically finding people in video based on their fine-grained body parts and attributes. © 2009 IEEE.