Face and eye detection from head and shoulder image on mobile devices

Jian Huang Lai*, Pong Chi YUEN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


With the advance of semiconductor technology, the current mobile devices support multimodal input and multimedia output. In turn, human computer communication applications can be developed in mobile devices such as mobile phone and PDA. This paper addresses the research issues of face and eye detection on mobile devices. The major obstacles that we need to overcome are the relatively low processor speed, low storage memory and low image (CMOS senor) quality. To solve these problems, this paper proposes a novel and efficient method for face and eye detection. The proposed method is based on color information because the computation time is small. However, the color information is sensitive to the illumination changes. In view of this limitation, this paper proposes an adaptive Illumination Insensitive (AI 2) Algorithm, which dynamically calculates the skin color region based on an image color distribution. Moreover, to solve the strong sunlight effect, which turns the skin color pixel into saturation, a dual-color-space model is also developed. Based on AI2 algorithm and face boundary information, face region is located. The eye detection method is based on an average integral of density, projection techniques and Gabor filters. To quantitatively evaluate the performance of the face and eye detection, a new metric is proposed. 2158 head & shoulder images captured under uncontrolled indoor and outdoor lighting conditions are used for evaluation. The accuracy in face detection and eye detection are 98% and 97% respectively. Moreover, the average computation time of one image using Matlab code in Pentium III 700 MHz computer is less than 15 seconds. The computational time will be reduced to tens hundreds of millisecond (ms) if low level programming language is used for implementation. The results are encouraging and show that the proposed method is suitable for mobile devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1053-1075
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Pattern Recognition and Artificial Intelligence
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Artificial Intelligence

User-Defined Keywords

  • Eye detection
  • Face detection
  • Face recognition
  • Mobile environment


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