A robust scheme for live detection of human faces in color images

Kwok Wai Wong, Kin Man Lam, Wan Chi Siu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, an efficient algorithm for detecting human faces in color images is proposed. The first step of our algorithm is to segment the possible skin-like regions in an image by using color information. One of the major problems of using skin color is that a face region may not be detected under poor lighting conditions, or if the lighting conditions vary over the face region. Our approach considers the distributions of the color components of skin pixels under different illuminations. This information can be used to identify skin-color pixels reliably under varying lighting conditions. The skin-color regions are then clustered and verified as human face regions. In order to improve the reliability and accuracy, an eigenmask that has a large magnitude at the important facial features of a human face is used in the detection. Experimental results show that this algorithm can detect human faces under varying lighting conditions reliably and fast.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-114
Number of pages12
JournalSignal Processing: Image Communication
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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