Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
thesis_access.pdf (2.82 MB)

Data-Driven Facial Expression Analysis from Live Video

Download (2.82 MB)
posted on 2021-11-22, 20:36 authored by Tay, Wee Kiat

Emotion analytics is the study of human behavior by analyzing the responses when humans experience different emotions. In this thesis, we research into emotion analytics solutions using computer vision to detect emotions from facial expressions automatically using live video.  Considering anxiety is an emotion that can lead to more serious conditions like anxiety disorders and depression, we propose 2 hypotheses to detect anxiety from facial expressions. One hypothesis is that the complex emotion “anxiety” is a subset of the basic emotion “fear”. The other hypothesis is that anxiety can be distinguished from fear by differences in head and eye motion.  We test the first hypothesis by implementing a basic emotions detector based on facial action coding system (FACS) to detect fear from videos of anxious faces. When we discover that this is not as accurate as we would like, an alternative solution based on Gabor filters is implemented. A comparison is done between the solutions and the Gabor-based solution is found to be inferior.  The second hypothesis is tested by using scatter graphs and statistical analysis of the head and eye motions of videos for fear and anxiety expressions. It is found that head pitch has significant differences between fear and anxiety.  As a conclusion to the thesis, we implement a systems software using the basic emotions detector based on FACS and evaluate the software by comparing commercials using emotions detected from facial expressions of viewers.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Computer Graphics

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Science

Victoria University of Wellington Unit

Engineering at Victoria

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Alternative Language


Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Engineering and Computer Science


Rhee, Taehyun; Ho, Harvey; Dodgson, Neil