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Face Recognition using Principle Component Analysis

The Principal Component Analysis (PCA) is one of the most successful techniques that have been used in image recognition and compression. PCA is a statistical method under the broad title of factor analysis. The purpose of PCA is to reduce the large dimensionality of the data space (observed variables) to the smaller intrinsic dimensionality of feature space (independent variables), which are needed to describe the data economically. This is the case when there is a strong correlation between observed variables.

The jobs which PCA can do are prediction, redundancy removal, feature extraction, data compression, etc. Because PCA is a classical technique which can do something in the linear domain, applications having linear models are suitable, such as signal processing, image processing, system and control theory, communications, etc.

Face recognition has many applicable areas. Moreover, it can be categorized into face identification, face classification, or sex determination. The most useful applications contain crowd surveillance, video content indexing, personal identification (ex. driver’s licence), mug shots matching, entrance security, etc. The main idea of using PCA for face recognition is to express the large 1-D vector of pixels constructed from 2-D facial image into the compact principal components of the feature space. This can be called eigenspace projection. Eigenspace is calculated by identifying the eigenvectors of the covariance matrix derived from a set of facial images(vectors).

The details are described in the following section. Section 2 describes mathematical formulation of PCA. More details about face recognition by PCA are given in Section 3. Implementation and some results are shown in Section 4. Finally, I present critical reviews in Section 5.
Source: University of Maryland
Author: Kyungnam Kim

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