Towards In-Vehicle Multi-Task Facial Attribute Recognition: Investigating Synthetic Data and Vision Foundation Models

Esmaeil Seraj, Walter Talamonti
Computer Science, Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (cs.CV), Artificial Intelligence (cs.AI), Machine Learning (cs.LG), Image and Video Processing (eess.IV)
2024-03-10 00:00:00
In the burgeoning field of intelligent transportation systems, enhancing vehicle-driver interaction through facial attribute recognition, such as facial expression, eye gaze, age, etc., is of paramount importance for safety, personalization, and overall user experience. However, the scarcity of comprehensive large-scale, real-world datasets poses a significant challenge for training robust multi-task models. Existing literature often overlooks the potential of synthetic datasets and the comparative efficacy of state-of-the-art vision foundation models in such constrained settings. This paper addresses these gaps by investigating the utility of synthetic datasets for training complex multi-task models that recognize facial attributes of passengers of a vehicle, such as gaze plane, age, and facial expression. Utilizing transfer learning techniques with both pre-trained Vision Transformer (ViT) and Residual Network (ResNet) models, we explore various training and adaptation methods to optimize performance, particularly when data availability is limited. We provide extensive post-evaluation analysis, investigating the effects of synthetic data distributions on model performance in in-distribution data and out-of-distribution inference. Our study unveils counter-intuitive findings, notably the superior performance of ResNet over ViTs in our specific multi-task context, which is attributed to the mismatch in model complexity relative to task complexity. Our results highlight the challenges and opportunities for enhancing the use of synthetic data and vision foundation models in practical applications.
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