Human face detection in a complex background

Guangzheng Yang, Thomas S. Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The human face is a complex pattern. Finding human faces automatically in a scene is a difficult yet significant problem. It is the first important step in a fully automatic human face recognition system. In this paper a new method to locate human faces in a complex background is proposed. This system utilizes a hierarchical knowledge-based method and consists of three levels. The higher two levels are based on mosaic images at different resolutions. In the lower level, an improved edge detection method is proposed. In this research the problem of scale is dealt with, so that the system can locate unknown human faces spanning a wide range of sizes in a complex black-and-white picture. Some experimental results are given.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-63
Number of pages11
JournalPattern Recognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994


  • Edge detection
  • Face detection
  • Knowledge-based pattern recognition
  • Mosaic image

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Artificial Intelligence


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