Mining discriminative descriptors for goal-based activity detection

Stavros Tachos*, Konstantinos Avgerinakis, Alexia Briassouli, Ioannis Kompatsiaris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Human activity detection from video that is recorded continuously over time has been gaining increasing attention due to its use in applications like security monitoring, smart homes and assisted living setups. The analysis of continuous videos for the detection of specific activities, called Activities of Interest (Aol) in this work, is particularly challenging, as the start and end times of the Aol are unknown, while the Aol themselves feature large anthropometric variations, making their recognition more difficult. Continuously recorded videos also contain periods of inactivity, or activities that are not in the set of Aol, further complicating the problem of detection.

This work attempts to overcome these challenges by introducing the concepts of (1) discriminative descriptors, (2) a goal for the Aol, represented by the most discriminative descriptors, (3) a novel, goal based framework for activity detection and recognition in video. We represent AoI goals by descriptors found to be the most discriminative, as defined by a function of their correlation distance from the majority of the data, rather than by semantics or parametric modeling. This ensures flexibility, as activities in video feature many variations which cannot always be adequately represented by model-based approaches. Temporal detection of Aol is based on the distance of the test data from the AoI goals, which is shown to provide accurate results. Activity recognition takes place by applying SVM classification on the detected Aol, and the results are compared with the state-of-the-art on publicly available real world and benchmark research datasets. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-86
Number of pages14
JournalComputer Vision and Image Understanding
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Activity detection
  • Activity localization
  • Discriminative descriptors
  • Goal-based


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