Image based human behavior and activity understanding has been a hot topic in the field of computer vision and multimedia. As an important part, skeleton estimation, which is also called pose estimation, has attracted lots of interests. For pose estimation, most of the deep learning approaches mainly focus on the joint feature. However, the joint feature is not sufficient, especially when the image includes multi-person and the pose is occluded or not fully visible. This paper proposes a novel multi-task framework for the multi-person pose estimation. The proposed framework is developed based on Mask Region-based Convolutional Neural Networks (R-CNN) and extended to integrate the joint feature, body boundary, body orientation and occlusion condition together. In order to further improve the performance of the multi-person pose estimation, this paper proposes to organize the different information in serial multi-task models instead of the widely used parallel multi-task network. The proposed models are trained on the public dataset Common Objects in Context (COCO), which is further augmented by ground truths of body orientation and mutual-occlusion mask. Experiments demonstrate the performance of the proposed method for multi-person pose estimation and body orientation estimation. The proposed method can detect 84.6% of the Percentage of Correct Keypoints (PCK) and has an 83.7% Correct Detection Rate (CDR). Comparisons further illustrate the proposed model can reduce the over-detection compared with other methods.
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