Robust Pose Estimation in Crowded Scenes with Direct Pose-Level Inference

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 (NeurIPS 2021)

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Dongkai Wang, Shiliang Zhang, Gang Hua


Multi-person pose estimation in crowded scenes is challenging because overlapping and occlusions make it difficult to detect person bounding boxes and infer pose cues from individual keypoints. To address those issues, this paper proposes a direct pose-level inference strategy that is free of bounding box detection and keypoint grouping. Instead of inferring individual keypoints, the Pose-level Inference Network (PINet) directly infers the complete pose cues for a person from his/her visible body parts. PINet first applies the Part-based Pose Generation (PPG) to infer multiple coarse poses for each person from his/her body parts. Those coarse poses are refined by the Pose Refinement module through incorporating pose priors, and finally are fused in the Pose Fusion module. PINet relies on discriminative body parts to differentiate overlapped persons, and applies visual body cues to infer the global pose cues. Experiments on several crowded scenes pose estimation benchmarks demonstrate the superiority of PINet. For instance, it achieves 59.8% AP on the OCHuman dataset, outperforming the recent works by a large margin.