Learning a Rare Event Detection Cascade by Direct Feature Selection
Rehg, James Matthew
Mullin, Matthew D.
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Face detection is a canonical example of a rare event detection problem, in which target patterns occur with much lower frequency than non-targets. Out of millions of face-sized windows in an input image, for example, only a few will typically contain a face. Viola and Jones recently proposed a cascade architecture for face detection which successfully addresses the rare event nature of the task. A central part of their method is a feature selection algorithm based on AdaBoost. We present a novel cascade learning algorithm based on forward feature selection which is two orders of magnitude faster than the Viola-Jones approach and yields classifiers of similar quality. This faster method could be used for more demanding classification tasks, such as on-line learning or searching the space of classifier structures. Our experimental results highlight the dominant role of the feature set in the success of the cascade approach.