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Learning Multi-dimensional Edge Feature-based AU Relation Graph for Facial Action Unit Recognition

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Luo, Cheng 
Song, Siyang 
Xie, Weicheng 
Shen, Linlin 


The activations of Facial Action Units (AUs) mutually influence one another. While the relationship between a pair of AUs can be complex and unique, existing approaches fail to specifically and explicitly represent such cues for each pair of AUs in each facial display. This paper proposes an AU relationship modelling approach that deep learns a unique graph to explicitly describe the relationship between each pair of AUs of the target facial display. Our approach first encodes each AU's activation status and its association with other AUs into a node feature. Then, it learns a pair of multi-dimensional edge features to describe multiple task-specific relationship cues between each pair of AUs. During both node and edge feature learning, our approach also considers the influence of the unique facial display on AUs' relationship by taking the full face representation as an input. Experimental results on BP4D and DISFA datasets show that both node and edge feature learning modules provide large performance improvements for CNN and transformer-based backbones, with our best systems achieving the state-of-the-art AU recognition results. Our approach not only has a strong capability in modelling relationship cues for AU recognition but also can be easily incorporated into various backbones. Our PyTorch code is made available.



cs.CV, cs.CV, cs.AI

Journal Title

Proceedings of the Thirty-First International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence

Conference Name

Thirty-First International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence {IJCAI-22}

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


International Joint Conferences on Artificial Intelligence Organization
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/R030782/1)
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) Societal Challenges (826232)