Spontaneous facial expressions differ from posed ones in appearance, timing and accompanying head movements. Still images cannot provide timing or head movement information directly. However, indirectly the distances between key points on a face extracted from a still image using active shape models can capture some movement and pose changes. This information is superposed on information about non-rigid facial movement that is also part of the expression. Does geometric information improve the discrimination between spontaneous and posed facial expressions arising from discrete emotions? We investigate the performance of a machine vision system for discrimination between posed and spontaneous versions of six basic emotions that uses SIFT appearance based features and FAP geometric features. Experimental results on the NVIE database demonstrate that fusion of geometric information leads only to marginal improvement over appearance features. Using fusion features, surprise is the easiest emotion (83.4% accuracy) to be distinguished, while disgust is the most difficult (76.1%). Our results find different important facial regions between discriminating posed versus spontaneous version of one emotion and classifying the same emotion versus other emotions. The distribution of the selected SIFT features shows that mouth is more important for sadness, while nose is more important for surprise, however, both the nose and mouth are important for disgust, fear, and happiness. Eyebrows, eyes, nose and mouth are important for anger
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