To Frontalize or Not to Frontalize:Do We Really Need Elaborate Pre-Processing to Improve Face Recognition?

Proceedings of the IEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), March 2018.

Face recognition performance has improved remarkably in the last decade. Much of this success can be attributed to the development of deep learning techniques such as convolutional neural networks (CNNs). While CNNs have pushed the state-of-the-art forward, their training process requires a large amount of clean and correctly labelled training data. If a CNN is intended to tolerate facial pose, then we face an important question: should this training data be diverse in its pose distribution, or should face images be normalized to a single pose in a pre-processing step? To address this question, we evaluate a number of popular facial landmarking and pose correction algorithms to understand their effect on facial recognition performance. Additionally, we introduce a new, automatic, single-image frontalization scheme that exceeds the performance of current algorithms. CNNs trained using sets of different pre-processing methods are used to extract features from the Point and Shoot Challenge (PaSC) and CMU Multi-PIE datasets. We assert that the subsequent verification and recognition performance serves to quantify the effectiveness of each pose correction scheme.