Audio-visual multiple-speaker tracking for robot perception

Yutong Ban 1, 2
2 PERCEPTION - Interpretation and Modelling of Images and Videos
Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes, LJK - Laboratoire Jean Kuntzmann, INPG - Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble
Abstract : Robot perception plays a crucial role in human-robot interaction (HRI). Perception system provides the robot information of the surroundings and enables the robot to give feedbacks. In a conversational scenario, a group of people may chat in front of the robot and move freely. In such situations, robots are expected to understand where are the people, who are speaking, or what are they talking about. This thesis concentrates on answering the first two questions, namely speaker tracking and diarization. We use different modalities of the robot’s perception system to achieve the goal. Like seeing and hearing for a human-being, audio and visual information are the critical cues for a robot in a conversational scenario. The advancement of computer vision and audio processing of the last decade has revolutionized the robot perception abilities. In this thesis, we have the following contributions: we first develop a variational Bayesian framework for tracking multiple objects. The variational Bayesian framework gives closed-form tractable problem solutions, which makes the tracking process efficient. The framework is first applied to visual multiple-person tracking. Birth and death process are built jointly with the framework to deal with the varying number of the people in the scene. Furthermore, we exploit the complementarity of vision and robot motorinformation. On the one hand, the robot’s active motion can be integrated into the visual tracking system to stabilize the tracking. On the other hand, visual information can be used to perform motor servoing. Moreover, audio and visual information are then combined in the variational framework, to estimate the smooth trajectories of speaking people, and to infer the acoustic status of a person- speaking or silent. In addition, we employ the model to acoustic-only speaker localization and tracking. Online dereverberation techniques are first applied then followed by the tracking system. Finally, a variant of the acoustic speaker tracking model based on von-Mises distribution is proposed, which is specifically adapted to directional data. All the proposed methods are validated on datasets according to applications.
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Yutong Ban. Audio-visual multiple-speaker tracking for robot perception. Machine Learning [cs.LG]. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019GREAM017⟩. ⟨tel-02163418v4⟩

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