A SOM Based Approach to Skin Detection with Application in Real Time Systems

D A Brown, I Craw and J Lewthwaite

A large body of human image processing techniques use skin detection as a first primitive for subsequent feature extraction. Well established methods of colour modelling, such as histograms and Gaussian mixture models have enabled the construction of suitably accurate skin detectors. However such techniques are not ideal for use in adaptive real time environments. We describe methods of skin detection using a Self-Organising Map or SOM, and show performance comparable (94% accuracy on facial images) to conventional techniques. We also introduce the AXEON Learning Processor as the basis for a hardware skin detector, and outline the potential benefits of using this system in a demanding environment, such as filtering Internet traffic, to which conventional techniques are not best suited.

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This document produced for BMVC 2001