The recognition of facial gestures and expressions in image sequences is an important and challenging problem. Most of the existing methods adopt the following paradigm. First, facial actions/features are retrieved from the images, then the facial expression is recognized based on the retrieved temporal parameters. In contrast to this mainstream approach, this paper introduces a new approach allowing the simultaneous retrieval of facial actions and expression using a particle filter adoptingmulti-class dynamics that are conditioned on the expression. For each frame in the video sequence, our approach is split into two consecutive stages. In the first stage, the 3D head pose is retrieved using a deterministic registration technique based on Online Appearance Models. In the second stage, the facial actions as well as the facial expression are simultaneously retrieved using a stochastic framework based on second-order Markov chains. The proposed fast scheme is either as robust as, or more robust than existing ones in a number of respects. We describe extensive experiments and provide evaluations of performance to show the feasibility and robustness of the proposed approach.
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