UniCon: Unified Context Network for Robust Active Speaker Detection

Published in ACM Multimedia 2021, 2021

Recommended citation: Zhang, Y., Liang, S., Liu, X., Wu, Z., Shan, S. and Chen, X., 2021. UniCon: Unified Context Network for Robust Active Speaker Detection. 29th ACM International Conference on Multimedia (ACM Multimedia 2021), Chengdu, China, October 20-24, 2021 (oral). https://arxiv.org/pdf/2108.02607

What marks an active speaker out from others?

Abstract: We propose a new efficient framework, the Unified Context Network (UniCon), for robust active speaker detection (ASD). Traditional methods for ASD usually operate on each candidate’s pre-cropped face track separately and do not sufficiently consider relationships among the candidates. This potentially limits performance, especially in challenging scenarios with low-resolution faces, multiple candidates, etc. Our solution is a novel, unified framework that focuses on jointly modeling multiple types of contextual information: spatial context to indicate the position and scale of each candidate’s face, relational context to capture the visual relationships among the candidates and contrast audio-visual affinities with each other, and temporal context to aggregate long-term information and smooth out local uncertainties. Based on such information, our model optimizes all candidates in a unified process for robust and reliable ASD. A thorough ablation study is performed on several challenging ASD benchmarks under different settings. In particular, our method outperforms the state-of-the-art by a large margin of about 15% mean Average Precision (mAP) absolute on two challenging subsets: one with three candidate speakers, and the other with faces smaller than 64 pixels. Together, our UniCon achieves 92.0% mAP on the AVA-ActiveSpeaker validation set, surpassing 90% for the first time on this challenging dataset at the time of submission.

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