Discriminative Pose Estimation Using Mixtures of Gaussian Processes

Student thesis: Phd


This thesis proposes novel algorithms for using Gaussian processes for Discriminative pose estimation. We overcome the traditional limitations of Gaussian processes, their cubic training complexity and their uni-modal predictive distribution by assembling them in a mixture of experts formulation. Our First contribution shows that by creating a large number of Fixed size Gaussian process experts, we can build a model that is able to scale to large data sets and accurately learn the multi-modal and non- linear mapping between image features and the subject's pose. We demonstrate that this model gives state of the art performance compared to other discriminative pose estimation techniques.We then extend the model to automatically learn the size and location of each expert. Gaussian processes are able to accurately model non-linear functional regression problems where the output is given as a function of the input. However, when an individual Gaussian process is trained on data which contains multi-modalities, or varying levels of ambiguity, the Gaussian process is unable to accurately model the data. We propose a novel algorithm for learning the size and location of each expert in our mixture of Gaussian processes model to ensure that the training data of each expert matches the assumptions of a Gaussian process. We show that this model is able to out perform our previous mixture of Gaussian processes model.Our final contribution is a dynamics framework for inferring a smooth sequence of pose estimates from a sequence of independent predictive distributions. Discriminative pose estimation infers the pose of each frame independently, leading to jittery tracking results. Our novel algorithm uses a model of human dynamics to infer a smooth path through a sequence of Gaussian mixture models as given by our mixture of Gaussian processes model. We show that our algorithm is able to smooth and correct some mis- takes made by the appearance model alone, and outperform a baseline linear dynamical system.
Date of Award1 Aug 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorAphrodite Galata (Supervisor)


  • mixture of experts
  • dynamical systems
  • human pose estimation
  • computer vision
  • gaussian process

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