A methodology for rapid illumination-invariant face recognition using image processing filters

Oggie Arandelovic*, Roberto Cipolla

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Achieving illumination invariance in the presence of large pose changes remains one of the most challenging aspects of automatic face recognition from low resolution imagery. In this paper, we propose a novel recognition methodology for their robust and efficient matching. The framework is based on outputs of simple image processing filters that compete with unprocessed greyscale input to yield a single matching score between two individuals. Specifically, we show how the discrepancy of the illumination conditions between query input and training (gallery) data set can be estimated implicitly and used to weight the contributions of the two competing representations. The weighting parameters are representation-specific (i.e. filter-specific), but not gallery-specific. Thus, the computationally demanding, learning stage of our algorithm is offline-based and needs to be performed only once, making the added online overhead minimal. Finally, we describe an extensive empirical evaluation of the proposed method in both a video and still image-based setup performed on five databases, totalling 333 individuals, over 1660 video sequences and 650 still images, containing extreme variation in illumination, pose and head motion. On this challenging data set our algorithm consistently demonstrated a dramatic performance improvement over traditional filtering approaches. We demonstrate a reduction of 50-75% in recognition error rates, the best performing method-filter combination correctly recognizing 97% of the individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-171
Number of pages13
JournalComputer Vision and Image Understanding
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


  • Face recognition
  • Filters
  • Illumination
  • Image processing
  • Invariance
  • Video


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