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A human inspired gaze estimation system




Estimating another person's gaze is a crucial skill in human social interactions. The social component is most apparent in dyadic gaze situations, in which the looker seems to look into the eyes of the observer, thereby signaling interest or a turn to speak. In a triadic situation, on the other hand, the looker's gaze is averted from the observer and directed towards another, specific target. This is mostly interpreted as a cue for joint attention, creating awareness of a predator or another point of interest. In keeping with the task's social significance, humans are very proficient at gaze estimation. Our accuracy ranges from less than one degree for dyadic settings to approximately 2.5 degrees for triadic ones. Our goal in this work is to draw inspiration from human gaze estimation mechanisms in order to create an artificial system that can approach the former's accuracy levels. Since human performance is severely impaired by both image-based degradations (Ando, 2004) and a change of facial configurations (Jenkins & Langton, 2003), the underlying principles are believed to be based both on simple image cues such as contrast/brightness distribution and on more complex geometric processing to reconstruct the actual shape of the head. By incorporating both kinds of cues in our system's design, we are able to surpass the accuracy of existing eye-tracking systems, which rely exclusively on either image-based or geometry-based cues (Yamazoe et al., 2008). A side-benefit of this combined approach is that it allows for gaze estimation despite moderate view-point changes. This is important for settings where subjects, say young children or certain kinds of patients, might not be fully cooperative to allow a careful calibration. Our model and implementation of gaze estimation opens up new experimental questions about human mechanisms while also providing a useful tool for general calibration-free, non-intrusive remote eye-tracking.

Author(s): Jonas Wulff and Pawan Sinha
Journal: Journal of Vision
Volume: 11
Number (issue): 11
Pages: 507--507
Year: 2011
Month: September
Publisher: ARVO

Department(s): Perceiving Systems
Bibtex Type: Article (article)
Paper Type: Abstract

DOI: 10.1167/11.11.507
URL: http://www.journalofvision.org/content/11/11/507.abstract


  title = {A human inspired gaze estimation system},
  author = {Wulff, Jonas and Sinha, Pawan},
  journal = {Journal of Vision},
  volume = {11},
  number = {11},
  pages = {507--507},
  publisher = {ARVO},
  month = sep,
  year = {2011},
  url = {http://www.journalofvision.org/content/11/11/507.abstract},
  month_numeric = {9}