Feeds

Boffins claim machines now beat humans at face-matching

On the Internet, GaussianFace knows you're a dog

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A pair of Hong Kong researchers is claiming a first, developing software that can identify people from photographs better than humans can.

Their claim, in this Arxiv paper, is based on the LWF – Labelled Faces in the Wild – benchmark. That benchmark comprises 13,000 photos of 6,000 public figures, with both humans and computers asked to compare pairs of photos and work out whether they're the same person.

According to researchers Chaochao Lu and Xiaoou Tang of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, humans perform the face-verification task with 97.53 per cent accuracy – which their approach, dubbed GaussianFace, beats at 98.52 per cent.

What Lu and Tang did was to look at existing face verification systems, which work either by building classification models or by extracting low-level features from the photos. Each approach has its shortcomings – chiefly because they need a fair amount of operator intervention to fine-tune how the software works, and because often multiple “training runs” are needed to work out which parameters need to be tuned.

Instead, in GaussianFace, Lu and Tang claim that they've produced a more computationally-efficient approach that works on a single training run, based on the Gaussian Process, “a non-parametric Bayesian kernel method”.

More simply: GaussianFace normalises each pic into a 150x120 pixel image, and uses five landmarks – two eyes, the nose, and the corners of the mouth – as the basis for the image transform. It then creates 25 x 25 overlapping tiles in the image, and captures a vector of each patch.

The other key to making GaussianFace work is to pick the right training dataset, according to the Arxiv Blog. For this, the researchers used LifePhotos and Multi-PIE datasets, which include the same subjects photographed under different conditions, so that the software could “learn” what the same face looks like under different illumination and viewpoints.

GaussianFace isn't perfect, however: “it still takes a long time to train our model for the high performance. In addition, large memory is also necessary. Therefore, for specific application, one needs to balance the three dimensions: memory, running time, and performance”, the researchers write.

“Surpassing the human-level performance may only be symbolically significant”, they note. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.