News & Events

1,198 News items, Awards, Events and Talks related to MERL and its staff.




  •  NEWS   MERL among top Massachusetts organizations in patent activity
    Date: November 27, 2017
    MERL Contact: Richard (Dick) Waters
    Research Areas: Electronics & Communications, Multimedia, Data Analytics, Computer Vision, Mechatronics, Algorithms, Business Innovation
    Brief
    • A recent report by JLL finds that MERL is among the top 10 organizations in Massachusetts in terms of patent filings in 2010-2015. This is especially notable since MERL is by far the smallest organization in that group.
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  •  NEWS   MERL invites applications for Visiting Faculty
    Date: February 15, 2018
    Research Areas: Electronics & Communications, Multimedia, Data Analytics, Computer Vision, Mechatronics, Algorithms, Business Innovation
    Brief
    • University faculty members are invited to spend part or all of their sabbaticals at MERL, pursuing projects of their own choosing in collaboration with MERL researchers.

      To apply, a candidate should identify and contact one or more MERL researchers with whom they would like to collaborate. The applicant and a MERL researcher will jointly prepare a proposal that the researcher will champion internally. Please visit the visiting faculty web page for further details: http://www.merl.com/employment/visiting-faculty.php.

      The application deadline for positions starting in Summer/Fall 2018 is February 15, 2018.
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  •  EVENT   MERL leads organization of dialog technology challenges and associated workshop
    Date: Sunday, December 10, 2017
    MERL Contacts: Bret Harsham; John Hershey; Chiori Hori; Takaaki Hori
    Location: Hyatt Regency, Long Beach, CA
    Research Areas: Multimedia, Speech & Audio
    Brief
    • MERL researcher Chiori Hori led the organization of the 6th edition of the Dialog System Technology Challenges (DSTC6). This year's edition of DSTC is split into three tracks: End-to-End Goal Oriented Dialog Learning, End-to-End Conversation Modeling, and Dialogue Breakdown Detection. A total of 23 teams from all over the world competed in the various tracks, and will meet at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach, CA, USA on December 10 to present their results at a dedicated workshop colocated with NIPS 2017.

      MERL's Speech and Audio Team and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation jointly submitted a set of systems to the End-to-End Conversation Modeling Track, obtaining the best rank among 19 submissions in terms of objective metrics.
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  •  NEWS   Mouhacine Benosman joins the Editorial Board of the Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications
    Date: November 27, 2017
    MERL Contact: Mouhacine Benosman
    Research Area: Multimedia
    Brief
    • MERL researcher Mouhacine Benosman has been appointed as a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications (JOTA).

      The Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications publishes carefully selected papers covering mathematical optimization techniques and their applications to science and engineering. An applications paper should be as much about the application of an optimization technique as it is about the solution of a particular problem.
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  •  NEWS   Tim Marks to give invited Keynote talk at AMFG 2017 Workshop, at ICCV 2017.
    Date: October 28, 2017
    Where: Venice, Italy
    MERL Contact: Tim Marks
    Research Areas: Computer Vision, Machine Learning
    Brief
    • MERL Senior Principal Research Scientist Tim K. Marks will give an invited keynote talk at the 2017 IEEE Workshop on Analysis and Modeling of Faces and Gestures (AMFG 2017). The workshop will take place On October 28, 2017, at the International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV 2017) in Venice, Italy.
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  •  EVENT   MERL's Petros Boufounos is co-organizing symposium on The Future Of Signal Processing
    Date & Time: Monday, October 23, 2017; 8:00am-4:00pm
    MERL Contact: Petros Boufounos
    Location: MIT Samberg Conference Center Floor 7, 50 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02142
    Research Areas: Multimedia, Computational Sensing, Wireless Communications & Signal Processing
    Brief
    • Dr. Petros Boufounos is co-organizing the symposium on "The Future of Signal Processing," held in honor of the 80th birthday of Prof. Alan V. Oppenheim.

      Details at: https://futureofsp.eecs.mit.edu

      Organizing committee:
      Dr. Tom Baran, Lumii
      Dr. Petros Boufounos, MERL
      Prof. Anantha Chandrakasan, MIT
      Prof. Yonina Eldar, Technion

      Program:
      8:00-8:45 Coffee
      8:45-9:00 Opening remarks
      Prof. Martin Schmidt, Provost, MIT
      9:00-9:35 The ever-expanding physical boundaries of Signal Processing
      Prof. Martin Vetterli, President of EPFL, Lausanne
      9:35-10:10 Signal Processors and the U.S. Navy: Enduring Partners
      Admiral John Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations, US Navy

      10:10-10:30 Short break

      10:30-11:05 Signals and Signal Processing: The Invisibles and The Everlastings
      Prof. Min Wu, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Maryland
      11:05-11:40 Signal processing with quantum computers
      Prof. Isaac Chuang, Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering; Senior Associate Dean of Digital Learning, MIT

      11:40-12:30 A box lunch will be provided. In your lunchbox, you'll find an envelope with four cards in it. Bring these cards back to your seats promptly after lunch for a magical surprise!

      12:30-12:40 Your Role in the Future of Signal Processing
      Magician Joel Acevedo

      12:40-1:05 Future of Low-power Embedded Signal Processing
      Prof. Anantha Chandrakasan, Dean, School of Engineering, MIT
      1:05-1:30 Synthetic biology and signal processing in living cells
      Prof. Ron Weiss, MIT, Professor of Biological Engineering and Director of the Synthetic Biology Center
      1:30-1:55 Physics 101 for Data Scientists
      Prof. Richard Baraniuk, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University, Founder and Director of OpenStax College

      1:55-2:15 Short break

      2:15-2:40 Signals: Representation and Information
      Prof. Meir Feder, Professor of Electrical Engineering, Tel Aviv University

      2:40-3:05 Exposing and Removing Information: Some new Mathematics for Signal Processing
      Dr. Petros Boufounos, Senior Principal Research Scientist, Sensing Team Leader, Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs

      3:05-4:00 Panel discussion: The Venn diagram between "Data Science," "Machine Learning" and "Signal Processing"
      Moderator:
      Prof. Alan Oppenheim, Ford Professor of Engineering, MIT
      Panelists:
      Prof. Asu Ozdaglar, Associate Department Head, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT
      Prof. Ron Schafer, Georgia Tech (Emeritus) and Stanford Univ.
      Prof. Yonina Eldar, Professor of Electrical Engineering, Technion
      Prof. Victor Zue, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, MIT
      Prof. Alexander Rakhlin, Associate Professor of Statistics, University of Pennsylvania
      4:00 Closing remarks
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  •  NEWS   Stefano Di Cairano appointed Vice-Chair of IFAC Technical Committee for Optimal Control.
    Date: October 18, 2017
    Where: International Federation of Automatic Control
    MERL Contact: Stefano Di Cairano
    Research Areas: Mechatronics, Advanced Control Systems
    Brief
    • MERL Mechatronics Senior Principal Research Scientist and Senior Optimization-based Control Team Leader, Stefano Di Cairano, was recently appointed the Vice-Chair of IFAC (International Federation of Automatic Control) Technical Committee for Optimal Control. His term will continue through July 2020.
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  •  EVENT   MERL 2nd Annual Open House
    Date & Time: Thursday, November 30, 2017; 4-6pm
    MERL Contacts: Marissa Deegan; Elizabeth Phillips; Jeroen van Baar; Anthony Vetro
    Location: 201 Broadway, 8th floor, Cambridge, MA
    Research Areas: Electronics & Communications, Multimedia, Data Analytics, Computer Vision, Mechatronics, Algorithms, Business Innovation
    Brief
    • Snacks, demos, science: On Thursday 11/30, Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL) will host an open house for graduate+ students interested in internships, post-docs, and research scientist positions. The event will be held from 4-6pm and will feature demos & short presentations in our main areas of research: algorithms, multimedia, electronics, communications, computer vision, speech processing, optimization, machine learning, data analytics, mechatronics, dynamics, control, and robotics. MERL is a high impact publication-oriented research lab with very extensive internship and university collaboration programs. Most internships lead to publication; many of our interns and staff have gone on to notable careers at MERL and in academia. Come mix with our researchers, see our state of the art technologies, and learn about our research opportunities. Dress code: casual, with resumes.

      Pre-registration for the event is strongly encouraged:
      https://merlopenhouse2.eventbrite.com/

      Current internship and employment openings:
      http://www.merl.com/internship/openings
      http://www.merl.com/employment/employment
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  •  NEWS   MERL presents 5 papers at ICIP 2017, Anthony Vetro serves as general co-chair
    Date: September 17, 2017 - September 20, 2017
    Where: Beijing, China
    MERL Contacts: Petros Boufounos; Robert Cohen; Chen Feng; Dehong Liu; Hassan Mansour; Huifang Sun; Yuichi Taguchi; Dong Tian; Anthony Vetro
    Research Areas: Multimedia, Computer Vision, Computational Geometry, Computational Sensing, Digital Video
    Brief
    • MERL presented 5 papers at the IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP), which was held in Beijing, China from September 17-20, 2017. ICIP is a flagship conference of the IEEE Signal Processing Society and approximately 1300 people attended the event. Anthony Vetro served as General Co-chair for the conference.
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  •  NEWS   MERL attends The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing
    Date: October 4, 2017 - October 6, 2017
    Where: Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL
    MERL Contacts: Esra Cansizoglu; Elizabeth Phillips; Jinyun Zhang
    Research Areas: Electronics & Communications, Multimedia, Data Analytics, Computer Vision, Mechatronics, Algorithms, Business Innovation
    Brief
    • Every year, women technologists and the best minds in computing convene to highlight the contributions of women to computing. The Anita Borg Institute co-presents GHC with the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM).

      The conference results in collaborative proposals, networking and mentoring for our attendees. Conference presenters are leaders in their respective fields, representing industry, academia and government.
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  •  NEWS   MERL researchers presented 1 workshop talk as a panelist and 2 papers at ECOC 2017, including one invited talk.
    Date: September 17, 2017 - September 21, 2017
    Where: 2017 European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC), Sweden
    MERL Contacts: Toshiaki Koike-Akino; Keisuke Kojima; David Millar; Milutin Pajovic; Kieran Parsons; Ye Wang
    Research Areas: Electronics & Communications, Optical Communications & Devices
    Brief
    • Two papers from the Optical Communications team were presented at the 2017 European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) held in Gothenburg, Sweden in September 2017. The papers relate to enhanced error correction coding for coherent optical links and advanced precoding for optical data center networks. The invited paper studied irregular polar coding to reduce computational complexity, decoding latency, and bit error rate at the same time. In addition to two papers, the team member was invited to talk about constellation shaping as a workshop panelist.
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  •  AWARD   2017 Graph Challenge Student Innovation Award
    Date: August 4, 2017
    Awarded to: David Zhuzhunashvili and Andrew Knyazev
    MERL Contact: Andrew Knyazev
    Research Areas: Data Analytics, Algorithms, Machine Learning
    Brief
    • David Zhuzhunashvili, an undergraduate student at UC Boulder, Colorado, and Andrew Knyazev, Distinguished Research Scientist at MERL, received the 2017 Graph Challenge Student Innovation Award. Their poster "Preconditioned Spectral Clustering for Stochastic Block Partition Streaming Graph Challenge" was accepted to the 2017 IEEE High Performance Extreme Computing Conference (HPEC '17), taking place 12-14 September 2017 (http://www.ieee-hpec.org/), and the paper was accepted to the IEEE Xplore HPEC proceedings.

      HPEC is the premier conference in the world on the convergence of High Performance and Embedded Computing. DARPA/Amazon/IEEE Graph Challenge is a special HPEC event. Graph Challenge encourages community approaches to developing new solutions for analyzing graphs derived from social media, sensor feeds, and scientific data to enable relationships between events to be discovered as they unfold in the field. The 2017 Streaming Graph Challenge is Stochastic Block Partition. This challenge seeks to identify optimal blocks (or clusters) in a larger graph with known ground-truth clusters, while performance is evaluated compared to baseline Python and C codes, provided by the Graph Challenge organizers.

      The proposed approach is spectral clustering that performs block partition of graphs using eigenvectors of a matrix representing the graph. Locally Optimal Block Preconditioned Conjugate Gradient (LOBPCG) method iteratively approximates a few leading eigenvectors of the symmetric graph Laplacian for multi-way graph partitioning. Preliminary tests for all static cases for the Graph Challenge demonstrate 100% correctness of partition using any of the IEEE HPEC Graph Challenge metrics, while at the same time also being approximately 500-1000 times faster compared to the provided baseline code, e.g., 2M static graph is 100% correctly partitioned in ~2,100 sec. Warm-starts of LOBPCG further cut the execution time 2-3x for the streaming graphs.
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  •  NEWS   MERL researchers presented 11 papers at ACC 2017 (American Controls Conference)
    Date: May 24, 2017 - May 26, 2017
    MERL Contacts: Mouhacine Benosman; Daniel Burns; Claus Danielson; Stefano Di Cairano; Amir-massoud Farahmand; Abraham Goldsmith; Uros Kalabic; Andrew Knyazev; Daniel Nikovski; Arvind Raghunathan; Yebin Wang
    Research Areas: Data Analytics, Mechatronics, Algorithms, Advanced Control Systems, Dynamical Systems, Machine Learning
    Brief
    • Talks were presented by members of several groups at MERL and covered a wide range of topics:
      - Similarity-Based Vehicle-Motion Prediction
      - Transfer Operator Based Approach for Optimal Stabilization of Stochastic Systems
      - Extended command governors for constraint enforcement in dual stage processing machines
      - Cooperative Optimal Output Regulation of Multi-Agent Systems Using Adaptive Dynamic Programming
      - Deep Reinforcement Learning for Partial Differential Equation Control
      - Indirect Adaptive MPC for Output Tracking of Uncertain Linear Polytopic Systems
      - Constraint Satisfaction for Switched Linear Systems with Restricted Dwell-Time
      - Path Planning and Integrated Collision Avoidance for Autonomous Vehicles
      - Least Squares Dynamics in Newton-Krylov Model Predictive Control
      - A Neuro-Adaptive Architecture for Extremum Seeking Control Using Hybrid Learning Dynamics
      - Robust POD Model Stabilization for the 3D Boussinesq Equations Based on Lyapunov Theory and Extremum Seeking
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  •  NEWS   MERL's breakthrough speech separation technology featured in Mitsubishi Electric Corporation's Annual R&D Open House
    Date: May 24, 2017
    Where: Tokyo, Japan
    MERL Contacts: Bret Harsham; John Hershey; Jonathan Le Roux
    Research Areas: Multimedia, Speech & Audio
    Brief
    • Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced that it has created the world's first technology that separates in real time the simultaneous speech of multiple unknown speakers recorded with a single microphone. It's a key step towards building machines that can interact in noisy environments, in the same way that humans can have meaningful conversations in the presence of many other conversations. In tests, the simultaneous speeches of two and three people were separated with up to 90 and 80 percent accuracy, respectively. The novel technology, which was realized with Mitsubishi Electric's proprietary "Deep Clustering" method based on artificial intelligence (AI), is expected to contribute to more intelligible voice communications and more accurate automatic speech recognition. A characteristic feature of this approach is its versatility, in the sense that voices can be separated regardless of their language or the gender of the speakers. A live speech separation demonstration that took place on May 24 in Tokyo, Japan, was widely covered by the Japanese media, with reports by three of the main Japanese TV stations and multiple articles in print and online newspapers. The technology is based on recent research by MERL's Speech and Audio team.
      Links:
      Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Press Release
      MERL Deep Clustering Demo

      Media Coverage:

      Fuji TV, News, "Minna no Mirai" (Japanese)
      The Nikkei (Japanese)
      Nikkei Technology Online (Japanese)
      Sankei Biz (Japanese)
      EE Times Japan (Japanese)
      ITpro (Japanese)
      Nikkan Sports (Japanese)
      Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (Japanese)
      Dempa Shimbun (Japanese)
      Il Sole 24 Ore (Italian)
      IEEE Spectrum (English)
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  •  NEWS   MERL organizes Workshop on Advanced Digital Transmitters at 2017 International Microwave Symposium
    Date: June 5, 2017
    Where: Honolulu, HI
    MERL Contacts: Rui Ma; Philip Orlik; Koon Hoo Teo
    Research Areas: Electronics & Communications, Power & RF, Wireless Communications & Signal Processing
    Brief
    • MERL researcher Dr. Rui Ma, is organizing a Workshop in collaboration with Dr. SungWon Chung of the University of Southern California (USC) on advanced digital transmitters. This workshop overviews recent advances in digital-intensive wireless transmitter R&D for both base-stations and mobile devices. The focus will be on the digital signal processing techniques and related digital-intensive transmitter circuits and architectures for advanced modulation, linearization, spur cancellation, high efficiency encoding, and parallel processing. This workshop takes place on Monday, June 5th 2017 at International Microwave Week, in Honolulu, HI. In total, 8 technical presentations from world leading research groups will be given.

      Dr. Ma will present a talk titled, "Advanced Power Encoding and Non-Contiguous Multi-Band Digital Transmitter Architectures"
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  •  EVENT   Tim Marks to give lunch talk at Face and Gesture 2017 conference
    Date: Thursday, June 1, 2017
    Speaker: Tim K. Marks
    MERL Contact: Tim Marks
    Location: IEEE Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition (FG 2017), Washington, DC
    Research Areas: Computer Vision, Machine Learning
    Brief
    • MERL Senior Principal Research Scientist Tim K. Marks will give the invited lunch talk on Thursday, June 1, at the IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition (FG 2017). The talk is entitled "Robust Real-Time 3D Head Pose and 2D Face Alignment."
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  •  NEWS   MERL researchers will present 5 papers at ICC2017 wireless communications conference
    Date: May 21, 2017 - May 25, 2017
    Where: IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC)
    MERL Contacts: Kyeong Jin (K.J.) Kim; Toshiaki Koike-Akino; Philip Orlik; Milutin Pajovic; Pu (Perry) Wang; Ye Wang
    Research Areas: Electronics & Communications, Wireless Communications & Signal Processing
    Brief
    • Five papers from the Wireless Comms team will be presented at ICC2017 to be held in Paris from 21-25 May 2017. The papers relate to channel estimation and adaptive transmission for mmWave, noncoherent MIMO, error correction coding, and video transmission.
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  •  EVENT   Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics panel for students on careers in industry
    Date & Time: Monday, July 10, 2017; 6:15 PM - 7:15 PM
    Speaker: Andrew Knyazev and other panelists, MERL
    MERL Contacts: Joseph Katz; Andrew Knyazev
    Location: David Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh PA
    Research Areas: Electronics & Communications, Multimedia, Data Analytics, Computer Vision, Mechatronics, Algorithms, Advanced Control Systems, Computational Geometry, Computational Photography, Computational Sensing, Decision Optimization, Digital Video, Dynamical Systems, Information Security, Machine Learning, Optical Communications & Devices, Power & RF, Predictive Modeling, Wireless Communications & Signal Processing
    Brief
    • Andrew Knyazev accepted an invitation to represent MERL at the panel on Student Careers in Business, Industry and Government at the annual meeting of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).

      The format consists of a five minute introduction by each of the panelists covering their background and an overview of the mathematical and computational challenges at their organization. The introductions will be followed by questions from the students.
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  •  NEWS   MERL Researcher Tim Marks presents an invited talk at MIT Lincoln Laboratory
    Date: April 27, 2017
    Where: Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    MERL Contact: Tim Marks
    Research Areas: Computer Vision, Machine Learning
    Brief
    • MERL researcher Tim K. Marks presented an invited talk as part of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory CORE Seminar Series on Biometrics. The talk was entitled "Robust Real-Time 2D Face Alignment and 3D Head Pose Estimation."

      Abstract: Head pose estimation and facial landmark localization are key technologies, with widespread application areas including biometrics and human-computer interfaces. This talk describes two different robust real-time face-processing methods, each using a different modality of input image. The first part of the talk describes our system for 3D head pose estimation and facial landmark localization using a commodity depth sensor. The method is based on a novel 3D Triangular Surface Patch (TSP) descriptor, which is viewpoint-invariant as well as robust to noise and to variations in the data resolution. This descriptor, combined with fast nearest-neighbor lookup and a joint voting scheme, enable our system to handle arbitrary head pose and significant occlusions. The second part of the talk describes our method for face alignment, which is the localization of a set of facial landmark points in a 2D image or video of a face. Face alignment is particularly challenging when there are large variations in pose (in-plane and out-of-plane rotations) and facial expression. To address this issue, we propose a cascade in which each stage consists of a Mixture of Invariant eXperts (MIX), where each expert learns a regression model that is specialized to a different subset of the joint space of pose and expressions. We also present a method to include deformation constraints within the discriminative alignment framework, which makes the algorithm more robust. Both our 3D head pose and 2D face alignment methods outperform the previous results on standard datasets. If permitted, I plan to end the talk with a live demonstration.
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  •  NEWS   MERL researcher Tim Marks presents invited talk at University of Utah
    Date: April 10, 2017
    Where: University of Utah School of Computing
    MERL Contact: Tim Marks
    Research Areas: Computer Vision, Machine Learning
    Brief
    • MERL researcher Tim K. Marks presented an invited talk at the University of Utah School of Computing, entitled "Action Detection from Video and Robust Real-Time 2D Face Alignment."

      Abstract: The first part of the talk describes our multi-stream bi-directional recurrent neural network for action detection from video. In addition to a two-stream convolutional neural network (CNN) on full-frame appearance (images) and motion (optical flow), our system trains two additional streams on appearance and motion that have been cropped to a bounding box from a person tracker. To model long-term temporal dynamics within and between actions, the multi-stream CNN is followed by a bi-directional Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) layer. Our method outperforms the previous state of the art on two action detection datasets: the MPII Cooking 2 Dataset, and a new MERL Shopping Dataset that we have made available to the community. The second part of the talk describes our method for face alignment, which is the localization of a set of facial landmark points in a 2D image or video of a face. Face alignment is particularly challenging when there are large variations in pose (in-plane and out-of-plane rotations) and facial expression. To address this issue, we propose a cascade in which each stage consists of a Mixture of Invariant eXperts (MIX), where each expert learns a regression model that is specialized to a different subset of the joint space of pose and expressions. We also present a method to include deformation constraints within the discriminative alignment framework, which makes the algorithm more robust. Our face alignment system outperforms the previous results on standard datasets. The talk will end with a live demo of our face alignment system.
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