Sparse common feature representation for undersampled face recognition

Shicheng Yang, Ying Wen, Lianghua He, Meng Chu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This work investigates the problem of undersampled face recognition (i.e., insufficient training data) encountered in practical Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications. Insufficient and uncertain samples captured by IoT devices may include background and facial disguise that makes face recognition more challenging than that with sufficient and reliable images. Many models work well in face recognition on a big data set, but when training data are insufficient, they achieve unsatisfactory performance. This work proposes a novel method named sparse common feature-based representation (SCFR) that provides a unique and stable result and completely avoids very time-consuming training required by a deep learning model. Specially, it constructs a common feature dictionary using both training and test images. Thereinto, a common feature is based on a discriminative common vector and learned by a Gaussian mixture model for both training and test images in a semisupervised learninig manner, which would reduce the difference among samples in each class. In the optimization, the latent indicator of test data is initialized by the estimated label. This can avoid learning invalid information and lead to good prototype images. A new variation dictionary characterizes variables that can be shared by different classes. Finally, this work adopts minimum reconstruction residuals to recognize test images, thus bringing about a substantial improvement in SCFR's performance. Extensive results on benchmark face databases demonstrate that the proposed method is better than the state-of-the-art methods handling undersampled face recognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9225055
Pages (from-to)5607-5618
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


  • Common feature
  • discriminative common vector
  • machine learning
  • semisupervised learning manner
  • sparse common feature representation (SCFR)
  • undersampled face recognition


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