MaskMTL: Attribute prediction in masked facial images with deep multitask learning

Prerana Mukherjee, Vinay Kaushik, Ronak Gupta, Ritika Jha, Daneshwari Kankanwadi, Brejesh Lall

Predicting attributes in the landmark free facial images is itself a challenging task which gets further complicated when the face gets occluded due to the usage of masks. Smart access control gates which utilize identity verification or the secure login to personal electronic gadgets may utilize face as a biometric trait. Particularly, the Covid-19 pandemic increasingly validates the essentiality of hygienic and contactless identity verification. In such cases, the usage of masks become more inevitable and performing attribute prediction helps in segregating the target vulnerable groups from community spread or ensuring social distancing for them in a collaborative environment. We create a masked face dataset by efficiently overlaying masks of different shape, size and textures to effectively model variability generated by wearing mask. This paper presents a deep Multi-Task Learning (MTL) approach to jointly estimate various heterogeneous attributes from a single masked facial image. Experimental results on benchmark face attribute UTKFace dataset demonstrate that the proposed approach supersedes in performance to other competing techniques.

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