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InMyFace: Inertial and mechanomyography-based sensor fusion for wearable facial activity recognition

Hymalai Bello; Luis Sanchez; Sungho Suh; Bo Zhou; Paul Lukowicz
In: Information Fusion, Vol. 99, Page 101886, Elsevier, 11/2023.


Recognizing facial activity is a well-understood (but non-trivial) computer vision problem. However, reliable solutions require a camera with a good view of the face, which is often unavailable in wearable settings. Furthermore, in wearable applications, where systems accompany users throughout their daily activities, a permanently running camera can be problematic for privacy (and legal) reasons. This work presents an alternative solution based on the fusion of wearable inertial sensors, planar pressure sensors, and acoustic mechanomyography (muscle sounds). The sensors were placed unobtrusively in a sports cap to monitor facial muscle activities related to facial expressions. We present our integrated wearable sensor system, describe data fusion and analysis methods, and evaluate the system in an experiment with thirteen subjects from different cultural backgrounds (eight countries) and both sexes (six women and seven men). In a one-model-per-user scheme and using a late fusion approach, the system yielded an average F1 score of 85.00% for the case where all sensing modalities are combined. With a cross-user validation and a one-model-for-all-user scheme, an F1 score of 79.00% was obtained for thirteen participants (six females and seven males). Moreover, in a hybrid fusion (cross-user) approach and six classes, an average F1 score of 82.00% was obtained for eight users. The results are competitive with state-of-the-art non-camera-based solutions for a cross-user study. In addition, our unique set of participants and minimally biased experimental design demonstrate the inclusiveness of the approach, which is beneficial for further generalizability.


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