PAtt-Lite: Lightweight Patch and Attention MobileNet for Challenging Facial Expression Recognition

16 Jun 2023  ·  Jia Le Ngwe, Kian Ming Lim, Chin Poo Lee, Thian Song Ong ·

Facial Expression Recognition (FER) is a machine learning problem that deals with recognizing human facial expressions. While existing work has achieved performance improvements in recent years, FER in the wild and under challenging conditions remains a challenge. In this paper, a lightweight patch and attention network based on MobileNetV1, referred to as PAtt-Lite, is proposed to improve FER performance under challenging conditions. A truncated ImageNet-pre-trained MobileNetV1 is utilized as the backbone feature extractor of the proposed method. In place of the truncated layers is a patch extraction block that is proposed for extracting significant local facial features to enhance the representation from MobileNetV1, especially under challenging conditions. An attention classifier is also proposed to improve the learning of these patched feature maps from the extremely lightweight feature extractor. The experimental results on public benchmark databases proved the effectiveness of the proposed method. PAtt-Lite achieved state-of-the-art results on CK+, RAF-DB, FER2013, FERPlus, and the challenging conditions subsets for RAF-DB and FERPlus. The source code for the proposed method will be available at

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Task Dataset Model Metric Name Metric Value Global Rank Benchmark
Facial Expression Recognition (FER) CK+ PAtt-Lite Accuracy (7 emotion) 100.00 # 1
Facial Expression Recognition (FER) FER+ PAtt-Lite Accuracy 95.55 # 1