Sports Re-ID: Improving Re-Identification Of Players In Broadcast Videos Of Team Sports

6 Jun 2022  ·  Bharath Comandur ·

This work focuses on player re-identification in broadcast videos of team sports. Specifically, we focus on identifying the same player in images captured from different camera viewpoints during any given moment of a match. This task differs from traditional applications of person re-id in a few important ways. Firstly, players from the same team wear highly similar clothes, thereby making it harder to tell them apart. Secondly, there are only a few number of samples for each identity, which makes it harder to train a re-id system. Thirdly, the resolutions of the images are often quite low and vary a lot. This combined with heavy occlusions and fast movements of players greatly increase the challenges for re-id. In this paper, we propose a simple but effective hierarchical data sampling procedure and a centroid loss function that, when used together, increase the mean average precision (mAP) by 7 - 11.5 and the rank-1 (R1) by 8.8 - 14.9 without any change in the network or hyper-parameters used. Our data sampling procedure improves the similarity of the training and test distributions, and thereby aids in creating better estimates of the centroids of the embeddings (or feature vectors). Surprisingly, our study shows that in the presence of severely limited data, as is the case for our application, a simple centroid loss function based on euclidean distances significantly outperforms the popular triplet-centroid loss function. We show comparable improvements for both convolutional networks and vision transformers. Our approach is among the top ranked methods in the SoccerNet Re-Identification Challenge 2022 leaderboard (test-split) with a mAP of 86.0 and a R1 of 81.5. On the sequestered challenge split, we achieve an mAP of 84.9 and a R1 of 80.1. Research on re-id for sports-related applications is very limited and our work presents one of the first discussions in the literature on this.

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Task Dataset Model Metric Name Metric Value Global Rank Result Benchmark
Person Re-Identification SoccerNet-v2 ViT-B/16 mAP 86.0 # 1
Rank-1 81.5 # 1