Active appearance model

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An active appearance model (AAM) is a computer vision algorithm for matching a statistical model of object shape and appearance to a new image. They are built during a training phase. A set of images, together with coordinates of landmarks that appear in all of the images, is provided to the training supervisor.

The model was first introduced by Edwards, Cootes and Taylor in the context of face analysis at the 3rd International Conference on Face and Gesture Recognition, 1998.[1] Cootes, Edwards and Taylor further described the approach as a general method in computer vision at the European Conference on Computer Vision in the same year.[2][3] The approach is widely used for matching and tracking faces and for medical image interpretation.

The algorithm uses the difference between the current estimate of appearance and the target image to drive an optimization process. By taking advantage of the least squares techniques, it can match to new images very swiftly.

It is related to the active shape model (ASM). One disadvantage of ASM is that it only uses shape constraints (together with some information about the image structure near the landmarks), and does not take advantage of all the available information – the texture across the target object. This can be modelled using an AAM.


  1. ^ Edwards, G. J.; Taylor, C. J.; Cootes, T. F. (1998). "Interpreting face images using active appearance models". Proceedings Third IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition. p. 300. CiteSeerX doi:10.1109/AFGR.1998.670965. ISBN 978-0-8186-8344-2. S2CID 11269423.
  2. ^ Cootes, T. F.; Edwards, G. J.; Taylor, C. J. (1998). "Active appearance models". Computer Vision — ECCV'98. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Vol. 1407. p. 484. CiteSeerX doi:10.1007/BFb0054760. ISBN 978-3-540-64613-6. S2CID 2230657.
  3. ^ Cootes, T. F.; Edwards, G. J.; Taylor, C. J. (2001). "Active appearance models". IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence. 23 (6): 681. CiteSeerX doi:10.1109/34.927467.

Some reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Professor Tim Cootes AAM Code Free Tools for experimenting with AAMs from Manchester University (for research use only).
  • Professor Tim Cootes AAM Page Co-creator of AAM page from Manchester University.
  • IMM AAM Code Dr Mikkel B. Stegmann's home page of AAM-API, C++ AAM implementation (non-commercial use only).
  • Matlab AAM Code Open-source Matlab implementation of the original AAM algorithm.
  • AAMtools An Active Appearance Modelling Toolbox in Matlab by Dr George Papandreou.
  • DeMoLib AAM Toolbox in C++ by Dr Jason Saragih and Dr Roland Goecke.