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Robust and energy-efficient expression recognition based on improved deep ResNets.

Biomed Tech (Berl). 2019 Feb 26;:

Authors: Chen Y, Du J, Liu Q, Zhang L, Zeng Y

Abstract
To improve the robustness and to reduce the energy consumption of facial expression recognition, this study proposed a facial expression recognition method based on improved deep residual networks (ResNets). Residual learning has solved the degradation problem of deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs); therefore, in theory, a ResNet can consist of infinite number of neural layers. On the one hand, ResNets benefit from better performance on artificial intelligence (AI) tasks, thanks to its deeper network structure; meanwhile, on the other hand, it faces a severe problem of energy consumption, especially on mobile devices. Hence, this study employs a novel activation function, the Noisy Softplus (NSP), to replace rectified linear units (ReLU) to get improved ResNets. NSP is a biologically plausible activation function, which was first proposed in training Spiking Neural Networks (SNNs); thus, NSP-trained models can be directly implemented on ultra-low-power neuromorphic hardware. We built an 18-layered ResNet using NSP to perform facial expression recognition across datasets Cohn-Kanade (CK+), Karolinska Directed Emotional Faces (KDEF) and GENKI-4K. The results achieved better anti-noise ability than ResNet using the activation function ReLU and showed low energy consumption running on neuromorphic hardware. This study not only contributes a solution for robust facial expression recognition, but also consolidates the low energy cost of their implementation on neuromorphic devices, which could pave the way for high-performance, noise-robust and energy-efficient vision applications on mobile hardware.

PMID: 30807287 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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