A hierarchical autoencoder learning model for path prediction and abnormality detection

Dario Dotti*, Mirela Popa, Stylianos Asteriadis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this paper, we introduce an unsupervised hierarchical framework for modeling trajectories in surveillance scenarios. Inspired by the object recognition field, a novel feature representation optimized for a neural network learning architecture is proposed. Low levels of the hierarchy capture local spatio-temporal motion attributes such as spatial orientation and speed, while higher levels contribute to obtaining richer semantic information. The bottom-up construction of the hierarchical framework exploits the inherent statistical correlations between neighboring elements using an increasing spatio-temporal grid. Cross-entropy based optimization in combination with autoencoders is used to learn weights for subsequent hierarchical layers. Finally, the Bayesian probabilistic framework built on top of the hierarchical model is proposed for applications such as long-term path prediction and abnormality detection. We demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed model on both indoor and outdoor datasets, achieving results comparable with state-of-the-art methods. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-224
Number of pages9
JournalPattern Recognition Letters
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Motion features
  • Autoencoder
  • Hierarchical learning
  • Behavior understanding
  • Abnormality detection
  • Path prediction

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