Fast pedestrian detection using a cascade of boosted covariance features

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Journal Article
IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology, 2008, 18 (8), pp. 1140 - 1151
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Efficiently and accurately detecting pedestrians plays a very important role in many computer vision applications such as video surveillance and smart cars. In order to find the right feature for this task, we first present a comprehensive experimental study on pedestrian detection using state-of-the-art locally extracted features (e.g., local receptive fields, histogram of oriented gradients, and region covariance). Building upon the findings of our experiments, we propose a new, simpler pedestrian detector using the covariance features. Unlike the work in [1], where the feature selection and weak classifier training are performed on the Riemannian manifold, we select features and train weak classifiers in the Euclidean space for faster computation. To this end, AdaBoost with weighted Fisher linear discriminant analysis-based weak classifiers are designed. A cascaded classifier structure is constructed for efficiency in the detection phase. Experiments on different datasets prove that the new pedestrian detector is not only comparable to the state-of-the-art pedestrian detectors but it also performs at a faster speed. To further accelerate the detection, we adopt a faster strategy-multiple layer boosting with heterogeneous features-to exploit the efficiency of the Haar feature and the discriminative power of the covariance feature. Experiments show that, by combining the Haar and covariance features, we speed up the original covariance feature detector [1] by up to an order of magnitude in detection time with a slight drop in detection performance. © 2008 IEEE.
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