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A Characteristic Function-Based Method for Bottom-Up Human Pose Estimation

Haoxuan Qu · Yujun Cai · Lin Geng Foo · Ajay Kumar · Jun Liu

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 062


Most recent methods formulate the task of human pose estimation as a heatmap estimation problem, and use the overall L2 loss computed from the entire heatmap to optimize the heatmap prediction. In this paper, we show that in bottom-up human pose estimation where each heatmap often contains multiple body joints, using the overall L2 loss to optimize the heatmap prediction may not be the optimal choice. This is because, minimizing the overall L2 loss cannot always lead the model to locate all the body joints across different sub-regions of the heatmap more accurately. To cope with this problem, from a novel perspective, we propose a new bottom-up human pose estimation method that optimizes the heatmap prediction via minimizing the distance between two characteristic functions respectively constructed from the predicted heatmap and the groundtruth heatmap. Our analysis presented in this paper indicates that the distance between these two characteristic functions is essentially the upper bound of the L2 losses w.r.t. sub-regions of the predicted heatmap. Therefore, via minimizing the distance between the two characteristic functions, we can optimize the model to provide a more accurate localization result for the body joints in different sub-regions of the predicted heatmap. We show the effectiveness of our proposed method through extensive experiments on the COCO dataset and the CrowdPose dataset.

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