37 research outputs found

    Towards automatic sign language corpus annotation using deep learning

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    Sign classification in sign language corpora is a challenging problem that requires large datasets. Unfortunately, only a small portion of those corpora is labeled. To expedite the annotation process, we propose a gloss suggestion system based on deep learning. We improve upon previous research in three ways. Firstly, we use a proven feature extraction method called OpenPose, rather than learning end-to-end. Secondly, we propose a more suitable and powerful network architecture, based on GRU layers. Finally, we exploit domain and task knowledge to further increase the accuracy. We show that we greatly outperform the previous state of the art on the used dataset. Our method can be used for suggesting a top 5 of annotations given a video fragment that is selected by the corpus annotator. We expect that it will expedite the annotation process to the benefit of sign language translation research

    Sign language recognition with transformer networks

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    Sign languages are complex languages. Research into them is ongoing, supported by large video corpora of which only small parts are annotated. Sign language recognition can be used to speed up the annotation process of these corpora, in order to aid research into sign languages and sign language recognition. Previous research has approached sign language recognition in various ways, using feature extraction techniques or end-to-end deep learning. In this work, we apply a combination of feature extraction using OpenPose for human keypoint estimation and end-to-end feature learning with Convolutional Neural Networks. The proven multi-head attention mechanism used in transformers is applied to recognize isolated signs in the Flemish Sign Language corpus. Our proposed method significantly outperforms the previous state of the art of sign language recognition on the Flemish Sign Language corpus: we obtain an accuracy of 74.7% on a vocabulary of 100 classes. Our results will be implemented as a suggestion system for sign language corpus annotation

    Towards the extraction of robust sign embeddings for low resource sign language recognition

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    Isolated Sign Language Recognition (SLR) has mostly been applied on datasets containing signs executed slowly and clearly by a limited group of signers. In real-world scenarios, however, we are met with challenging visual conditions, coarticulated signing, small datasets, and the need for signer independent models. To tackle this difficult problem, we require a robust feature extractor to process the sign language videos. One could expect human pose estimators to be ideal candidates. However, due to a domain mismatch with their training sets and challenging poses in sign language, they lack robustness on sign language data and image-based models often still outperform keypoint-based models. Furthermore, whereas the common practice of transfer learning with image-based models yields even higher accuracy, keypoint-based models are typically trained from scratch on every SLR dataset. These factors limit their usefulness for SLR. From the existing literature, it is also not clear which, if any, pose estimator performs best for SLR. We compare the three most popular pose estimators for SLR: OpenPose, MMPose and MediaPipe. We show that through keypoint normalization, missing keypoint imputation, and learning a pose embedding, we can obtain significantly better results and enable transfer learning. We show that keypoint-based embeddings contain cross-lingual features: they can transfer between sign languages and achieve competitive performance even when fine-tuning only the classifier layer of an SLR model on a target sign language. We furthermore achieve better performance using fine-tuned transferred embeddings than models trained only on the target sign language. The embeddings can also be learned in a multilingual fashion. The application of these embeddings could prove particularly useful for low resource sign languages in the future

    Querying a sign language dictionary with videos using dense vector search

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    To search for an unknown sign in a sign language dictionary, users typically indicate parameters of the query, e.g., hand shape and signing location. Recent advances in sign language recognition enable video-based sign language dictionary search. In such a system, users can record an unknown sign and retrieve a list of signs that look similar, preferably including the queried sign as one of the top results. We have realized such a system by interpreting it as a dense vector search task. First, we learn a mapping (embedding) from sign videos to a vector space. The dictionary can then be searched by looking for the vectors in this space that are closest to the vector corresponding to the query. We present a proof of concept on a subset of the Flemish Sign Language dictionary. Further research is required to scale up our method to the large vocabularies of entire dictionaries

    Leveraging frozen pretrained written language models for neural sign language translation

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    We consider neural sign language translation: machine translation from signed to written languages using encoder–decoder neural networks. Translating sign language videos to written language text is especially complex because of the difference in modality between source and target language and, consequently, the required video processing. At the same time, sign languages are low-resource languages, their datasets dwarfed by those available for written languages. Recent advances in written language processing and success stories of transfer learning raise the question of how pretrained written language models can be leveraged to improve sign language translation. We apply the Frozen Pretrained Transformer (FPT) technique to initialize the encoder, decoder, or both, of a sign language translation model with parts of a pretrained written language model. We observe that the attention patterns transfer in zero-shot to the different modality and, in some experiments, we obtain higher scores (from 18.85 to 21.39 BLEU-4). Especially when gloss annotations are unavailable, FPTs can increase performance on unseen data. However, current models appear to be limited primarily by data quality and only then by data quantity, limiting potential gains with FPTs. Therefore, in further research, we will focus on improving the representations used as inputs to translation models

    Isolated sign recognition from RGB video using pose flow and self-attention

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    Automatic sign language recognition lies at the intersection of natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision. The highly successful transformer architectures, based on multi-head attention, originate from the field of NLP. The Video Transformer Network (VTN) is an adaptation of this concept for tasks that require video understanding, e.g., action recognition. However, due to the limited amount of labeled data that is commonly available for training automatic sign (language) recognition, the VTN cannot reach its full potential in this domain. In this work, we reduce the impact of this data limitation by automatically pre-extracting useful information from the sign language videos. In our approach, different types of information are offered to a VTN in a multi-modal setup. It includes per-frame human pose keypoints (extracted by OpenPose) to capture the body movement and hand crops to capture the (evolution of) hand shapes. We evaluate our method on the recently released AUTSL dataset for isolated sign recognition and obtain 92.92% accuracy on the test set using only RGB data. For comparison: the VTN architecture without hand crops and pose flow achieved 82% accuracy. A qualitative inspection of our model hints at further potential of multi-modal multi-head attention in a sign language recognition context