On hierarchical modelling of motion for workflow analysis from overhead view
Authors: Arbab-Zavar, B., Carter, J.N. and Nixon, M.S.
Journal: Machine Vision and Applications
Understanding human behaviour is a high level perceptual problem, one which is often dominated by the contextual knowledge of the environment, and where concerns such as occlusion, scene clutter and high within-class variations are commonplace. Nonetheless, such understanding is highly desirable for automated visual surveillance. We consider this problem in a context of a workflow analysis within an industrial environment. The hierarchical nature of the workflow is exploited to split the problem into 'activity' and 'task' recognition. In this, sequences of low level activities are examined for instances of a task while the remainder are labelled as background. An initial prediction of activity is obtained using shape and motion based features of the moving blob of interest. A sequence of these activities is further adjusted by a probabilistic analysis of transitions between activities using hidden Markov models (HMMs). In task detection, HMMs are arranged to handle the activities within each task. Two separate HMMs for task and background compete for an incoming sequence of activities. Imagery derived from a camera mounted overhead the target scene has been chosen over the more conventional oblique views (from the side) as this view does not suffer from as much occlusion, and it poses a manageable detection and tracking problem while still retaining powerful cues as to the workflow patterns. We evaluate our approach both in activity and task detection on a challenging dataset of surveillance of human operators in a car manufacturing plant. The experimental results show that our hierarchical approach can automatically segment the timeline and spatially localize a series of predefined tasks that are performed to complete a workflow. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.