Hand Pose Guided 3D Pooling for Word-Level Sign Language Recognition
Gestures in American Sign Language (ASL) are characterized by fast, highly articulate motion of upper body, including arm movements with complex hand shapes and facial expressions. In this work, we propose a new method for word-level sign recognition from American Sign Language (ASL) using video. Our method uses both motion and hand shape cues while being robust to variations of execution. We exploit the knowledge of the body pose, estimated from an off-the-shelf pose estimator. Using the pose as a guide, we pool spatio-temporal feature maps from different layers of a 3D convolutional neural network. We train separate classifiers using pose guided pooled features from different resolutions and fuse their prediction scores during test time. This leads to a significant improvement in performance on the WLASL benchmark dataset . The proposed approach achieves 10%, 12%, 9:5% and 6:5% performance gain on WLASL100, WLASL300, WLASL1000, WLASL2000 subsets respectively. To demonstrate the robustness of the pose guided pooling and proposed fusion mechanism, we also evaluate our method by fine tuning the model on another dataset. This yields 10% performance improvement for the proposed method using only 0:4% training data during fine tuning stage.