Face detection using discriminating feature analysis and support vector machine

Peichung Shih, Chengjun Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


This paper presents a novel face detection method by applying discriminating feature analysis (DFA) and support vector machine (SVM). The novelty of our DFA-SVM method comes from the integration of DFA, face class modeling, and SVM for face detection. First, DFA derives a discriminating feature vector by combining the input image, its 1-D Haar wavelet representation, and its amplitude projections. While the Haar wavelets produce an effective representation for object detection, the amplitude projections capture the vertical symmetric distributions and the horizontal characteristics of human face images. Second, face class modeling estimates the probability density function of the face class and defines a distribution-based measure for face and nonface classification. The distribution-based measure thus separates the input patterns into three classes: the face class (patterns close to the face class), the nonface class (patterns far away from the face class), and the undecided class (patterns neither close to nor far away from the face class). Finally, SVM together with the distribution-based measure classifies the patterns in the undecided class into either the face class or the nonface class. Experiments using images from the MIT-CMU test sets demonstrate the feasibility of our new face detection method. In particular, when using 92 images (containing 282 faces) from the MIT-CMU test sets, our DFA-SVM method achieves 98.2% correct face detection rate with two false detections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-276
Number of pages17
JournalPattern Recognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Artificial Intelligence


  • Discriminating feature analysis (DFA)
  • Distribution-based measure
  • Face detection
  • Support Vector Machine (SVM)
  • The DFA-SVM method


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