A survey: facial micro-expression recognition

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Journal Article
Multimedia Tools and Applications, 2018, 77 (15), pp. 19301 - 19325
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© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Facial expression recognition plays a crucial role in a wide range of applications of psychotherapy, security systems, marketing, commerce and much more. Detecting a macro-expression, which is a direct representation of an ‘emotion,’ is a relatively straight-forward task. Playing a pivotal role as macro-expressions, micro-expressions are more accurate indicators of a train of thought or even subtle, passive or involuntary thoughts. Compared to macro-expressions, identifying micro-expressions is a much more challenging research question because their time spans are narrowed down to a fraction of a second, and can only be defined using a broader classification scale. This paper is an all-inclusive survey-cum-analysis of the various micro-expression recognition techniques. We analyze the general framework for micro-expression recognition system by decomposing the pipeline into fundamental components, namely face detecting, pre-processing, facial feature detection and extraction, datasets, and classification. We discuss the role of these elements and highlight the models and new trends that are followed in their design. Moreover, we provide an extensive analysis of micro-expression recognition systems by comparing their performance. We also discuss the new deep learning features that can, in the near future, replace the hand-crafted features for facial micro-expression recognition. This survey has been developed, focusing on the methodologies applied, databases used, performance regarding recognition accuracy and comparing these to distil the gaps in the efficiencies, future scope, and research potentials. Through this survey, we intend to look into this problem and develop a comprehensive and efficient recognition scheme. This study allows us to identify open issues and to determine future directions for designing real-world micro-expression recognition systems.
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