Associative Embedding for Team Discrimination

Maxime Istasse, Julien Moreau, Christophe De Vleeschouwer; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) Workshops, 2019, pp. 0-0


Assigning team labels to players in a sport game is not a trivial task when no prior is known about the visual appearance of each team. Our work builds on a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) to learn a descriptor, namely a pixel-wise embedding vector, that is similar for pixels depicting players from the same team, and dissimilar when pixels correspond to distinct teams. The advantage of this idea is that no per-game learning is needed, allowing efficient team discrimination as soon as the game starts. In principle, the approach follows the associative embedding framework to differentiate instances of objects. Our work is however different in that it derives the embeddings from a lightweight segmentation network and, more fundamentally, because it considers the assignment of the same embedding to unconnected pixels, as required by pixels of distinct players from the same team. Excellent results, both in terms of team labelling accuracy and generalization to new games/arenas, have been achieved on panoramic views of a large variety of basketball games involving players interactions and occlusions. This makes our method a good candidate to integrate team separation in many CNN-based sport analytics pipelines.

Related Material

author = {Istasse, Maxime and Moreau, Julien and De Vleeschouwer, Christophe},
title = {Associative Embedding for Team Discrimination},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) Workshops},
month = {June},
year = {2019}