Tracking Human Body Pose on a Learned Smooth Space
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Particle filtering is a popular method used in systems for tracking human body pose in video. One key difficulty in using particle filtering is caused by the curse of dimensionality: generally a very large number of particles is required to adequately approximate the underlying pose distribution in a high-dimensional state space. Although the number of degrees of freedom in the human body is quite large, in reality, the subset of allowable configurations in state space is generally restricted by human biomechanics, and the trajectories in this allowable subspace tend to be smooth. Therefore, a framework is proposed to learn a low-dimensional representation of the high-dimensional human poses state space. This mapping can be learned using a Gaussian Process Latent Variable Model (GPLVM) framework. One important advantage of the GPLVM framework is that both the mapping to, and mapping from the embedded space are smooth; this facilitates sampling in the low-dimensional space, and samples generated in the low-dimensional embedded space are easily mapped back into the original highdimensional space. Moreover, human body poses that are similar in the original space tend to be mapped close to each other in the embedded space; this property can be exploited when sampling in the embedded space. The proposed framework is tested in tracking 2D human body pose using a Scaled Prismatic Model. Experiments on real life video sequences demonstrate the strength of the approach. In comparison with the Multiple Hypothesis Tracking and the standard Condensation algorithm, the proposed algorithm is able to maintain tracking reliably throughout the long test sequences. It also handles singularity and self occlusion robustly.