Selective spatio-temporal interest points

Bhaskar Chakraborty, Michael B. Holte, Thomas B. Moeslund, Jordi Gonzàlez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


Recent progress in the field of human action recognition points towards the use of Spatio-Temporal Interest Points (STIPs) for local descriptor-based recognition strategies. In this paper, we present a novel approach for robust and selective STIP detection, by applying surround suppression combined with local and temporal constraints. This new method is significantly different from existing STIP detection techniques and improves the performance by detecting more repeatable, stable and distinctive STIPs for human actors, while suppressing unwanted background STIPs. For action representation we use a bag-of-video words (BoV) model of local N-jet features to build a vocabulary of visual-words. To this end, we introduce a novel vocabulary building strategy by combining spatial pyramid and vocabulary compression techniques, resulting in improved performance and efficiency. Action class specific Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifiers are trained for categorization of human actions. A comprehensive set of experiments on popular benchmark datasets (KTH and Weizmann), more challenging datasets of complex scenes with background clutter and camera motion (CVC and CMU), movie and YouTube video clips (Hollywood 2 and YouTube), and complex scenes with multiple actors (MSR I and Multi-KTH), validates our approach and show state-of-the-art performance. Due to the unavailability of ground truth action annotation data for the Multi-KTH dataset, we introduce an actor specific spatio-temporal clustering of STIPs to address the problem of automatic action annotation of multiple simultaneous actors. Additionally, we perform cross-data action recognition by training on source datasets (KTH and Weizmann) and testing on completely different and more challenging target datasets (CVC, CMU, MSR I and Multi-KTH). This documents the robustness of our proposed approach in the realistic scenario, using separate training and test datasets, which in general has been a shortcoming in the performance evaluation of human action recognition techniques. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-410
JournalComputer Vision and Image Understanding
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012


  • Action recognition
  • Bag-of-words
  • Complex scenes
  • Local descriptors
  • Multiple actors
  • Spatio-temporal interest points
  • Support vector machines


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