Image ratio features for facial expression recognition application

Mingli Song, Dacheng Tao, Zicheng Liu, Xuelong Li, Mengchu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Video-based facial expression recognition is a challenging problem in computer vision and humancomputer interaction. To target this problem, texture features have been extracted and widely used, because they can capture image intensity changes raised by skin deformation. However, existing texture features encounter problems with albedo and lighting variations. To solve both problems, we propose a new texture feature called image ratio features. Compared with previously proposed texture features, e.g., high gradient component features, image ratio features are more robust to albedo and lighting variations. In addition, to further improve facial expression recognition accuracy based on image ratio features, we combine image ratio features with facial animation parameters (FAPs), which describe the geometric motions of facial feature points. The performance evaluation is based on the Carnegie Mellon University CohnKanade database, our own database, and the Japanese Female Facial Expression database. Experimental results show that the proposed image ratio feature is more robust to albedo and lighting variations, and the combination of image ratio features and FAPs outperforms each feature alone. In addition, we study asymmetric facial expressions based on our own facial expression database and demonstrate the superior performance of our combined expression recognition system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5299175
Pages (from-to)779-788
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Expression recognition
  • Facial expression
  • Image ratio features


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