Tracking Attention for Multiple People: Wandering Visual Focus of Attention Estimation

The problem of finding the visual focus of attention of multiple people free to move in an unconstrained manner is defined here as the {\em wandering visual focus of attention} (WVFOA) problem. Estimating the WVFOA for multiple unconstrained people is a new and important problem with implications for human behavior understanding and cognitive science, as well as real-world applications. One such application, which we present in this article, monitors the attention passers-by pay to an outdoor advertisement. In our approach to the WVFOA problem, we propose a multi-person tracking solution based on a hybrid Dynamic Bayesian Network that simultaneously infers the number of people in a scene, their body locations, their head locations, and their head pose. It is defined in a joint state-space formulation that allows for the modeling of interactions between people. For inference in the resulting high-dimensional state-space, we propose a trans-dimensional Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling scheme, which not only handles a varying number of people, but also efficiently searches the state-space by allowing person-part state updates. Our model was rigorously evaluated for tracking quality and ability to recognize people looking at an outdoor advertisement, and the results indicate good performance for these tasks.

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 Record created 2010-02-11, last modified 2018-03-17

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