Journal article

Tracking the visual focus of attention for a varying number of wandering people

In this article, we define and address the problem of finding the visual focus of attention for a varying number of wandering people (VFOA-W) -- determining where a person is looking when their movement is unconstrained. VFOA-W estimation is a new and important problem with implications in behavior understanding and cognitive science, as well as real-world applications. One such application, presented in this article, monitors the attention passers-by pay to an outdoor advertisement using a single video camera. In our approach to the VFOA-W problem, we propose a multi-person tracking solution based on a dynamic Bayesian network that simultaneously infers the number of people in a scene, their body locations, their head locations, and their head pose. For efficient inference in the resulting variable-dimensional state-space we propose a Reversible Jump Markov Chain Monte Carlo (RJMCMC) sampling scheme, as well as a novel global observation model which determines the number of people in the scene and their locations. To determine if a person is looking at the advertisement or not, we propose a Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM) and Hidden Markov Model (HMM)-based VFOA-W model which uses head pose and location information. Our models are evaluated for tracking performance and ability to recognize people looking at an outdoor advertisement, with results indicating good performance on sequences where up to three people pass in front of an advertisement.

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