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Multilinear methods for disentangling variations with applications to facial analysis

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Title: Multilinear methods for disentangling variations with applications to facial analysis
Authors: Wang, Mengjiao
Item Type: Thesis or dissertation
Abstract: Several factors contribute to the appearance of an object in a visual scene, including pose, illumination, and deformation, among others. Each factor accounts for a source of variability in the data. It is assumed that the multiplicative interactions of these factors emulate the entangled variability, giving rise to the rich structure of visual object appearance. Disentangling such unobserved factors from visual data is a challenging task, especially when the data have been captured in uncontrolled recording conditions (also referred to as “in-the-wild”) and label information is not available. The work presented in this thesis focuses on disentangling the variations contained in visual data, in particular applied to 2D and 3D faces. The motivation behind this work lies in recent developments in the field, such as (i) the creation of large, visual databases for face analysis, with (ii) the need of extracting information without the use of labels and (iii) the need to deploy systems under demanding, real-world conditions. In the first part of this thesis, we present a method to synthesise plausible 3D expressions that preserve the identity of a target subject. This method is supervised as the model uses labels, in this case 3D facial meshes of people performing a defined set of facial expressions, to learn. The ability to synthesise an entire facial rig from a single neutral expression has a large range of applications both in computer graphics and computer vision, ranging from the ecient and cost-e↵ective creation of CG characters to scalable data generation for machine learning purposes. Unlike previous methods based on multilinear models, the proposed approach is capable to extrapolate well outside the sample pool, which allows it to accurately reproduce the identity of the target subject and create artefact-free expression shapes while requiring only a small input dataset. We introduce global-local multilinear models that leverage the strengths of expression-specific and identity-specific local models combined with coarse motion estimations from a global model. The expression-specific and identity-specific local models are built from di↵erent slices of the patch-wise local multilinear model. Experimental results show that we achieve high-quality, identity-preserving facial expression synthesis results that outperform existing methods both quantitatively and qualitatively. In the second part of this thesis, we investigate how the modes of variations from visual data can be extracted. Our assumption is that visual data has an underlying structure consisting of factors of variation and their interactions. Finding this structure and the factors is important as it would not only help us to better understand visual data but once obtained we can edit the factors for use in various applications. Shape from Shading and expression transfer are just two of the potential applications. To extract the factors of variation, several supervised methods have been proposed but they require both labels regarding the modes of variations and the same number of samples under all modes of variations. Therefore, their applicability is limited to well-organised data, usually captured in well-controlled conditions. We propose a novel general multilinear matrix decomposition method that discovers the multilinear structure of possibly incomplete sets of visual data in unsupervised setting. We demonstrate the applicability of the proposed method in several computer vision tasks, including Shape from Shading (SfS) (in the wild and with occlusion removal), expression transfer, and estimation of surface normals from images captured in the wild. Finally, leveraging the unsupervised multilinear method proposed as well as recent advances in deep learning, we propose a weakly supervised deep learning method for disentangling multiple latent factors of variation in face images captured in-the-wild. To this end, we propose a deep latent variable model, where we model the multiplicative interactions of multiple latent factors of variation explicitly as a multilinear structure. We demonstrate that the proposed approach indeed learns disentangled representations of facial expressions and pose, which can be used in various applications, including face editing, as well as 3D face reconstruction and classification of facial expression, identity and pose.
Content Version: Open Access
Issue Date: Aug-2019
Date Awarded: Apr-2020
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/97162
DOI: https://doi.org/10.25560/97162
Copyright Statement: Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial Licence
Supervisor: Zafeiriou, Stefanos
Ghosh, Abhijeet
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Department: Computing
Publisher: Imperial College London
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Qualification Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Appears in Collections:Computing PhD theses

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