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Therbligs in Action: Video Understanding Through Motion Primitives

Eadom Dessalene · Michael Maynord · Cornelia FermĂĽller · Yiannis Aloimonos

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 228


In this paper we introduce a rule-based, compositional, and hierarchical modeling of action using Therbligs as our atoms. Introducing these atoms provides us with a consistent, expressive, contact-centered representation of action. Over the atoms we introduce a differentiable method of rule-based reasoning to regularize for logical consistency. Our approach is complementary to other approaches in that the Therblig-based representations produced by our architecture augment rather than replace existing architectures’ representations. We release the first Therblig-centered annotations over two popular video datasets - EPIC Kitchens 100 and 50-Salads. We also broadly demonstrate benefits to adopting Therblig representations through evaluation on the following tasks: action segmentation, action anticipation, and action recognition - observing an average 10.5%/7.53%/6.5% relative improvement, respectively, over EPIC Kitchens and an average 8.9%/6.63%/4.8% relative improvement, respectively, over 50 Salads. Code and data will be made publicly available.

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