Computer imaging to read face to detect threat

October 2nd, 2008 - 10:12 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Oct 2 (IANS) An Indian-origin computer scientist at Concordia University in Montreal is developing a computer imaging process that will read expressions on a human face to know that person’s motives and intentions.The system will classify these expressions to let analysts know whether that individual posed any public threat.

A university statement said Prof Prabir Bhattacharya and his graduate student Abu Sayeed Sohail were on the verge of developing this computer image processing system for detecting and classifying human facial expressions.

It said this system will help take and analyse photos of individuals, potentially in areas of high traffic where security is a primary concern, such as an airport.

“If one could take random photos of the crowd and process them fast enough, there is the potential to identify those individuals who might be problematic,” the statement said.

While detecting facial expressions, the system will focus on muscles under the face near the eyes, nose and mouth.

“Bhattacharya and Sohail’s system measures 15 key points on the face and then compares these measures against images of identifiable facial expressions,” the statement said.

Even though individuals and cultures vary in facial expressions in myriad ways, Bhattacharya and Sohail have identified seven basic facial expressions which all humans share.

These seven universal expressions will help the computer imaging process to classify them and then know whether that individual posed any threat.

The results of their yet-to-be concluded research have been published as Classification of Human Facial Expression: A Prospective Application of Image Processing and Machine Learning.

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