This paper proposes a two-step approach to temporally segment facial behavior.
Temporal segmentation of facial gestures in spontaneous facial behavior recorded in real-world settings is an important, unsolved, and relatively unexplored problem in facial image analysis. Several issues contribute to the challenge of this task. These include non-frontal pose, moderate to large out-of-plane head motion, large variability in the temporal scale of facial gestures, and the exponential nature of possible facial action combinations. To address these challenges, the authors propose a two-step approach to temporally segment facial behavior. The first step uses spectral graph techniques to cluster shape and appearance features invariant to some geometric transformations. The second step groups the clusters into temporally coherent facial gestures. The authors evaluated this method in facial behavior recorded during face-to- face interactions. The video data were originally collected to answer substantive questions in psychology without concern for algorithm development. The method achieved moderate convergent validity with manual FACS (Facial Action Coding System) annotation. Further, when used to preprocess video for manual FACS annotation, the method significantly improves productivity, thus addressing the need for ground-truth data for facial image analysis. Moreover, the authors were also able to detect unusual facial behavior. (Published abstract provided)