Paper in Artificial Intelligence (2009): "A novel sequence representation for unsupervised analysis of human activities"

A novel sequence representation for unsupervised analysis of human activities


Formalizing computational models for everyday human activities remains an open challenge. Many previous approaches towards this end assume prior knowledge about the structure of activities, using which explicitly defined models are learned in a completely supervised manner. For a majority of everyday environments however, the structure of the in situ activities is generally not known a priori. In this paper we investigate knowledge representations and manipulation techniques that facilitate learning of human activities in a minimally supervised manner. The key contribution of this work is the idea that global structural information of human activities can be encoded using a subset of their local event subsequences, and that this encoding is sufficient for activity-class discovery and classification.

In particular, we investigate modeling activity sequences in terms of their constituent subsequences that we call event n-grams. Exploiting this representation, we propose a computational framework to automatically discover the various activity-classes taking place in an environment. We model these activity-classes as maximally similar activity-cliques in a completely connected graph of activities, and describe how to discover them efficiently. Moreover, we propose methods for finding characterizations of these discovered classes from a holistic as well as a by-parts perspective. Using such characterizations, we present a method to classify a new activity to one of the discovered activity-classes, and to automatically detect whether it is anomalous with respect to the general characteristics of its membership class. Our results show the efficacy of our approach in a variety of everyday environments.

Keywords: Temporal reasoning; Scene analysis; Computer vision

Hamid et al AIJ Paper

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