Degree Name

Master of Computer Science


School of Computer Science and Software Engineering


Multi-player on-line games (MOGs) have become increasingly popular because of the opportunity they provide for collaboration, communications and interactions. However, compared with ordinary human communication, MOG still has several limitations, especially in the communication using facial expressions. Although detailed facial animation has already been achieved in a number of MOGs, players have to use text commands to control the expressions of avatars. This thesis proposes an automatic expression recognition system that can be integrated into a MOG to control the facial expressions of avatars. To meet the specific requirements of such a system, a number of algorithms are studied, tailored and extended. In particular, Viola-Jones face detection method is modified in several aspects to detect small scale key facial components with wide shape variations. In addition a new coarse-to-fine method is proposed for extracting 20 facial landmarks from image sequences. The proposed system has been evaluated on a number of databases that are different from the training database and achieved 83% recognition rate for 4 emotional state expressions. During the real-time test, the system achieved an average frame rate of 13 fps for 320 x 240 images on a PC with 2.80 GHz Intel Pentium. Testing results have shown that the system has a practical range of working distances (from user to camera), and is robust against variations in lighting and backgrounds.

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