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Open AccessArticle

Face Image Age Estimation Based on Data Augmentation and Lightweight Convolutional Neural Network

by Xinhua Liu 1,2,*, Yao Zou 1,2,*, Hailan Kuang 1,2 and Xiaolin Ma 1,2
1
School of Information Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
2
Key Laboratory of Fiber Optic Sensing Technology and Information Processing, Wuhan University of Technology, Ministry of Education, Wuhan 430070, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Symmetry 2020, 12(1), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12010146
Received: 14 December 2019 / Revised: 1 January 2020 / Accepted: 9 January 2020 / Published: 10 January 2020
Face images contain many important biological characteristics. The research directions of face images mainly include face age estimation, gender judgment, and facial expression recognition. Taking face age estimation as an example, the estimation of face age images through algorithms can be widely used in the fields of biometrics, intelligent monitoring, human-computer interaction, and personalized services. With the rapid development of computer technology, the processing speed of electronic devices has greatly increased, and the storage capacity has been greatly increased, allowing deep learning to dominate the field of artificial intelligence. Traditional age estimation methods first design features manually, then extract features, and perform age estimation. Convolutional neural networks (CNN) in deep learning have incomparable advantages in processing image features. Practice has proven that the accuracy of using convolutional neural networks to estimate the age of face images is far superior to traditional methods. However, as neural networks are designed to be deeper, and networks are becoming larger and more complex, this makes it difficult to deploy models on mobile terminals. Based on a lightweight convolutional neural network, an improved ShuffleNetV2 network based on the mixed attention mechanism (MA-SFV2: Mixed Attention-ShuffleNetV2) is proposed in this paper by transforming the output layer, merging classification and regression age estimation methods, and highlighting important features by preprocessing images and data augmentation methods. The influence of noise vectors such as the environmental information unrelated to faces in the image is reduced, so that the final age estimation accuracy can be comparable to the state-of-the-art. View Full-Text
Keywords: CNN; age estimation; data augmentation; classification; regression CNN; age estimation; data augmentation; classification; regression
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Liu, X.; Zou, Y.; Kuang, H.; Ma, X. Face Image Age Estimation Based on Data Augmentation and Lightweight Convolutional Neural Network. Symmetry 2020, 12, 146.

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