Learning semantic attributes for person re-identification and description-based person search has gained increasing interest due to attributes' great potential as a pose and view-invariant representation. However, existing attribute-centric approaches have thus far underperformed state-of-the-art conventional approaches. This is due to their non-scalable need for extensive domain (camera) specific annotation. In this paper we present a new semantic attribute learning approach for person re-identification and search. Our model is trained on existing fashion photography datasets -- either weakly or strongly labelled. It can then be transferred and adapted to provide a powerful semantic description of surveillance person detections, without requiring any surveillance domain supervision. The resulting representation is useful for both unsupervised and supervised person re-identification, achieving state-of-the-art and near state-of-the-art performance respectively. Furthermore, as a semantic representation it allows description-based person search to be integrated within the same framework.
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