Date of Award

6-2010

Degree Name

MS in Computer Science

Department

Computer Science

Advisor

Franz J. Kurfess

Abstract

This thesis explores the use of head gesture recognition as an intuitive interface for computer interaction. This research presents a novel vision-based head gesture recognition system which utilizes contextual clues to reduce false positives. The system is used as a computer interface for answering dialog boxes. This work seeks to validate similar research, but focuses on using more efficient techniques using everyday hardware. A survey of image processing techniques for recognizing and tracking facial features is presented along with a comparison of several methods for tracking and identifying gestures over time. The design explains an efficient reusable head gesture recognition system using efficient lightweight algorithms to minimize resource utilization. The research conducted consists of a comparison between the base gesture recognition system and an optimized system that uses contextual clues to reduce false positives. The results confirm that simple contextual clues can lead to a significant reduction of false positives. The head gesture recognition system achieves an overall accuracy of 96% using contextual clues and significantly reduces false positives. In addition, the results from a usability study are presented showing that head gesture recognition is considered an intuitive interface and desirable above conventional input for answering dialog boxes. By providing the detailed design and architecture of a head gesture recognition system using efficient techniques and simple hardware, this thesis demonstrates the feasibility of implementing head gesture recognition as an intuitive form of interaction using preexisting infrastructure, and also provides evidence that such a system is desirable.

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