TR#353: Pfinder: Real-Time Tracking of the Human Body

Christopher Wren, Ali Azarbayejani, Trevor Darrell, Alex Pentland

available in:

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
July 1997, vol 19, no 7, pp. 780-785

Pfinder is a real-time system for tracking and interpretation of people. It runs on a standard SGI Indy computer, and has performed reliably on thousands of people in many different physical locations. The system uses a multi-class statistical model of color and shape to segment a person from a background scene, and then to find and track people's head and hands in a wide range of viewing conditions. Pfinder produces a real-time representation of a user useful for applications such as wireless interfaces, video databases, and low-bandwidth coding, without cumbersome wires or attached sensors.

Please Note: the published version of this article contains two errors, one in Equation 4 and one in Equation 8. These on-line versions have been corrected.

The M.S. Thesis version is quite a bit longer, contains some more detail, and is a bit less polished than the PAMI article.