Demographic Estimation from Face Images: Human vs. Machine Performance
Demographic estimation entails automatic estimation of age, gender and race of a person from his face image, which has many potential applications ranging from forensics to social media. Automatic demographic estimation, particularly age estimation, remains a challenging problem because persons belonging to the same demographic group can be vastly different in their facial appearances due to intrinsic and extrinsic factors. In this paper, we present a generic framework for automatic demographic (age, gender and race) estimation. Given a face image, we first extract demographic informative features via a boosting algorithm, and then employ a hierarchical approach consisting of between-group classification, and within-group regression. Quality assessment is also developed to identify low-quality face images that are difficult to obtain reliable demographic estimates. Experimental results on a diverse set of face image databases, FG-NET ( images), FERET ( images), MORPH II ( images), PCSO ( images), and a subset of LFW ( images), show that the proposed approach has superior performance compared to t- e state of the art. Finally, we use crowdsourcing to study the human perception ability of estimating demographics from face images. A side-by-side comparison of the demographic estimates from crowdsourced data and the proposed algorithm provides a number of insights into this challenging problem.