New technology to predict future appearance

Mar 11, 2011

A Concordia graduate student has designed a promising computer program that could serve as a new tool in missing-child investigations and matters of national security. Khoa Luu has developed a more effective computer-based technique to age photographic images of people's faces – an advance that could help to indentify missing kids and criminals on the lam.

"Research into computer-based age estimation and face aging is a relatively young field," says Luu, a PhD candidate from Concordia's Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering whose master's thesis explores new and highly effective ways to estimate age and predict future appearance. His work is being supervised by professors Tien Dai Bui and Ching Suen.

"We pioneered a novel technique that combines two previous approaches, known as active appearance models (AAMs) and support vector regression (SVR)," says Luu. "This combination dramatically improves the accuracy of age-estimation. In tests, our method achieved the promising results of any published approach."

Most face-aged images are currently rendered by forensic artists. Although these artists are trained in the anatomy and geometry of faces, they rely on art rather than science. As a result, predicted faces drawn by artists can differ widely.

"Our approach to computerized face aging relies on combining existing techniques," says Luu. "The human face changes in different ways at different stages of life. During the growth and development stage, the physical structure of the face changes, becoming longer and wider; in the adult aging phase, the primary changes to the face are in soft tissue. Wrinkles and lines form, and muscles begin to lose their tone."

All this information has to be incorporated into the computer algorithm. Since there are two periods with fundamentally different aging mechanisms, Luu had to construct two different 'aging functions' for this project.

To develop his face aging technique, Luu first used a combination of AAMs and SVR methods to interpret faces and "teach" the computer aging rules. Then, he input information from a database of facial characteristics of siblings and parents taken over an extended period. Using this data, the computer then predicts an individual's facial appearance at a future period.

"Our research has applications in a whole range of areas," says Luu. "People in national security, law enforcement, tobacco control and even in the cosmetic industry can all benefit from this technology."

Explore further: See what a child will look like using automated age-progression software (w/ video)

More information: www.springerlink.com/content/32q7x7336677p625/fulltext.pdf

Provided by Concordia University

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Can't place that face? The trouble may be in your neurons

Jul 28, 2010

A specific area in our brains is responsible for processing information about human and animal faces, both how we recognize them and how we interpret facial expressions. Now, Tel Aviv University research is exploring what ...

Improving security with face recognition technology

Nov 10, 2009

A number of U.S. states now use facial recognition technology when issuing drivers licenses. Similar methods are also used to grant access to buildings and to verify the identities of international travelers. ...

Facial aging is more than skin deep

Mar 23, 2010

Facelifts and other wrinkle-reducing procedures have long been sought by people wanting to ward off the signs of aging, but new research suggests that it takes more than tightening loose skin to restore a youthful look. A ...

Recommended for you

Dish Network denies wrongdoing in $2M settlement

8 hours ago

The state attorney general's office says Dish Network Corp. will reimburse Washington state customers about $2 million for what it calls a deceptive surcharge, but the satellite TV provider denies any wrongdoing.

Yahoo sees signs of growth in 'core' (Update)

8 hours ago

Yahoo reported a stronger-than-expected first-quarter profit Tuesday, results hailed by chief executive Marissa Mayer as showing growth in the Web giant's "core" business.

Intel reports lower 1Q net income, higher revenue

9 hours ago

Intel's earnings fell in the first three months of the year amid a continued slump in the worldwide PC market, but revenue grew slightly because of solid demand for tablet processors and its data center services.

Earthquake simulation tops one quadrillion flops

10 hours ago

A team of computer scientists, mathematicians and geophysicists at Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) and Ludwig-Maximillians Universitaet Muenchen (LMU) have – with the support of the Leibniz Supercomputing ...

Twitter buys data analytics partner Gnip

11 hours ago

Twitter says it has bought its data partner Gnip, which provides analysis of the more than 500 million tweets its users share each day—to advertisers, academic institutions, politicians and other customers.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Intel reports lower 1Q net income, higher revenue

Intel's earnings fell in the first three months of the year amid a continued slump in the worldwide PC market, but revenue grew slightly because of solid demand for tablet processors and its data center services.

Low Vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms

A new study from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) shows no significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopa ...

Astronomers: 'Tilt-a-worlds' could harbor life

A fluctuating tilt in a planet's orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah's Weber State University and NASA. In fact, ...