Thomas Huang has been recognized worldwide as a pioneer in research involving topics such as computer vision and signal processing, winning numerous honors and awards for his seminal contributions to these fields.
One noteable invention is Huang's facial recognition software. Consisting of three modules - face detection, discriminative manifold learning, and multiple linear regression - the age-estimation software was trained on a database containing photos of 1,600 faces.
The software can estimate ages from 1 year to 93 years. The software’s accuracy ranges from about 50 percent when estimating ages to within 5 years, to more than 80 percent when estimating ages to within 10 years. The accuracy has the potential to be improved through additional training on larger databases of faces.
In addition to performing tasks such as security control and surveillance monitoring, age-estimation software also could be used for electronic customer relationship management.
Through facial and emotion recognition algorithms, Huang and his team have also been able to reconstruct a 3D face according to the input image and then personalize the 3D face model. This allows for the possibility of having synthetic talking faces deliver messages, instead of text.
A method for detecting an object in an image includes calculating a log L likelihood of pairs of pixels at select positions in the image that are derived from training images. The calculated log L likelihood of the pairs of pixels is compared with a threshold value. The object is detected when the calculated log L likelihood is greater than the threshold value.