Age and gender recognition in the wild with deep attention

Pau Rodríguez, Guillem Cucurull, Josep M. Gonfaus, F. Xavier Roca, Jordi Gonzàlez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Face analysis in images in the wild still pose a challenge for automatic age and gender recognition tasks, mainly due to their high variability in resolution, deformation, and occlusion. Although the performance has highly increased thanks to Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs), it is still far from optimal when compared to other image recognition tasks, mainly because of the high sensitiveness of CNNs to facial variations. In this paper, inspired by biology and the recent success of attention mechanisms on visual question answering and fine-grained recognition, we propose a novel feedforward attention mechanism that is able to discover the most informative and reliable parts of a given face for improving age and gender classification. In particular, given a downsampled facial image, the proposed model is trained based on a novel end-to-end learning framework to extract the most discriminative patches from the original high-resolution image. Experimental validation on the standard Adience, Images of Groups, and MORPH II benchmarks show that including attention mechanisms enhances the performance of CNNs in terms of robustness and accuracy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-571
JournalPattern Recognition
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Age recognition
  • Attention mechanisms
  • Deep neural networks
  • Gender recognition


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