Carol Neidle


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Linguistically-driven Framework for Computationally Efficient and Scalable Sign Recognition
Dimitris Metaxas | Mark Dilsizian | Carol Neidle
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018)


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Detection of Major ASL Sign Types in Continuous Signing For ASL Recognition
Polina Yanovich | Carol Neidle | Dimitris Metaxas
Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'16)

In American Sign Language (ASL) as well as other signed languages, different classes of signs (e.g., lexical signs, fingerspelled signs, and classifier constructions) have different internal structural properties. Continuous sign recognition accuracy can be improved through use of distinct recognition strategies, as well as different training datasets, for each class of signs. For these strategies to be applied, continuous signing video needs to be segmented into parts corresponding to particular classes of signs. In this paper we present a multiple instance learning-based segmentation system that accurately labels 91.27% of the video frames of 500 continuous utterances (including 7 different subjects) from the publicly accessible NCSLGR corpus (Neidle and Vogler, 2012). The system uses novel feature descriptors derived from both motion and shape statistics of the regions of high local motion. The system does not require a hand tracker.


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A New Framework for Sign Language Recognition based on 3D Handshape Identification and Linguistic Modeling
Mark Dilsizian | Polina Yanovich | Shu Wang | Carol Neidle | Dimitris Metaxas
Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'14)

Current approaches to sign recognition by computer generally have at least some of the following limitations: they rely on laboratory conditions for sign production, are limited to a small vocabulary, rely on 2D modeling (and therefore cannot deal with occlusions and off-plane rotations), and/or achieve limited success. Here we propose a new framework that (1) provides a new tracking method less dependent than others on laboratory conditions and able to deal with variations in background and skin regions (such as the face, forearms, or other hands); (2) allows for identification of 3D hand configurations that are linguistically important in American Sign Language (ASL); and (3) incorporates statistical information reflecting linguistic constraints in sign production. For purposes of large-scale computer-based sign language recognition from video, the ability to distinguish hand configurations accurately is critical. Our current method estimates the 3D hand configuration to distinguish among 77 hand configurations linguistically relevant for ASL. Constraining the problem in this way makes recognition of 3D hand configuration more tractable and provides the information specifically needed for sign recognition. Further improvements are obtained by incorporation of statistical information about linguistic dependencies among handshapes within a sign derived from an annotated corpus of almost 10,000 sign tokens.

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3D Face Tracking and Multi-Scale, Spatio-temporal Analysis of Linguistically Significant Facial Expressions and Head Positions in ASL
Bo Liu | Jingjing Liu | Xiang Yu | Dimitris Metaxas | Carol Neidle
Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'14)

Essential grammatical information is conveyed in signed languages by clusters of events involving facial expressions and movements of the head and upper body. This poses a significant challenge for computer-based sign language recognition. Here, we present new methods for the recognition of nonmanual grammatical markers in American Sign Language (ASL) based on: (1) new 3D tracking methods for the estimation of 3D head pose and facial expressions to determine the relevant low-level features; (2) methods for higher-level analysis of component events (raised/lowered eyebrows, periodic head nods and head shakes) used in grammatical markings―with differentiation of temporal phases (onset, core, offset, where appropriate), analysis of their characteristic properties, and extraction of corresponding features; (3) a 2-level learning framework to combine low- and high-level features of differing spatio-temporal scales. This new approach achieves significantly better tracking and recognition results than our previous methods.


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Detecting Reduplication in Videos of American Sign Language
Zoya Gavrilov | Stan Sclaroff | Carol Neidle | Sven Dickinson
Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'12)

A framework is proposed for the detection of reduplication in digital videos of American Sign Language (ASL). In ASL, reduplication is used for a variety of linguistic purposes, including overt marking of plurality on nouns, aspectual inflection on verbs, and nominalization of verbal forms. Reduplication involves the repetition, often partial, of the articulation of a sign. In this paper, the apriori algorithm for mining frequent patterns in data streams is adapted for finding reduplication in videos of ASL. The proposed algorithm can account for varying weights on items in the apriori algorithm's input sequence. In addition, the apriori algorithm is extended to allow for inexact matching of similar hand motion subsequences and to provide robustness to noise. The formulation is evaluated on 105 lexical signs produced by two native signers. To demonstrate the formulation, overall hand motion direction and magnitude are considered; however, the formulation should be amenable to combining these features with others, such as hand shape, orientation, and place of articulation.

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Recognition of Nonmanual Markers in American Sign Language (ASL) Using Non-Parametric Adaptive 2D-3D Face Tracking
Dimitris Metaxas | Bo Liu | Fei Yang | Peng Yang | Nicholas Michael | Carol Neidle
Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'12)

This paper addresses the problem of automatically recognizing linguistically significant nonmanual expressions in American Sign Language from video. We develop a fully automatic system that is able to track facial expressions and head movements, and detect and recognize facial events continuously from video. The main contributions of the proposed framework are the following: (1) We have built a stochastic and adaptive ensemble of face trackers to address factors resulting in lost face track; (2) We combine 2D and 3D deformable face models to warp input frames, thus correcting for any variation in facial appearance resulting from changes in 3D head pose; (3) We use a combination of geometric features and texture features extracted from a canonical frontal representation. The proposed new framework makes it possible to detect grammatically significant nonmanual expressions from continuous signing and to differentiate successfully among linguistically significant expressions that involve subtle differences in appearance. We present results that are based on the use of a dataset containing 330 sentences from videos that were collected and linguistically annotated at Boston University.


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Benchmark Databases for Video-Based Automatic Sign Language Recognition
Philippe Dreuw | Carol Neidle | Vassilis Athitsos | Stan Sclaroff | Hermann Ney
Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'08)

A new, linguistically annotated, video database for automatic sign language recognition is presented. The new RWTH-BOSTON-400 corpus, which consists of 843 sentences, several speakers and separate subsets for training, development, and testing is described in detail. For evaluation and benchmarking of automatic sign language recognition, large corpora are needed. Recent research has focused mainly on isolated sign language recognition methods using video sequences that have been recorded under lab conditions using special hardware like data gloves. Such databases have often consisted generally of only one speaker and thus have been speaker-dependent, and have had only small vocabularies. A new database access interface, which was designed and created to provide fast access to the database statistics and content, makes it possible to easily browse and retrieve particular subsets of the video database. Preliminary baseline results on the new corpora are presented. In contradistinction to other research in this area, all databases presented in this paper will be publicly available.