Unsupervised Temporal Feature Aggregation for Event Detection in Unstructured Sports Videos

Image-based sports analytics enable automatic retrieval of key events in a game to speed up the analytics process for human experts. However, most existing methods focus on structured television broadcast video datasets with a straight and fixed camera having minimum variability in the capturing pose. In this paper, we study the case of event detection in sports videos for unstructured environments with arbitrary camera angles. The transition from structured to unstructured video analysis produces multiple challenges that we address in our paper. Specifically, we identify and solve two major problems: unsupervised identification of players in an unstructured setting and generalization of the trained models to pose variations due to arbitrary shooting angles. For the first problem, we propose a temporal feature aggregation algorithm using person re-identification features to obtain high player retrieval precision by boosting a weak heuristic scoring method. Additionally, we propose a data augmentation technique, based on multi-modal image translation model, to reduce bias in the appearance of training samples. Experimental evaluations show that our proposed method improves precision for player retrieval from 0.78 to 0.86 for obliquely angled videos. Additionally, we obtain an improvement in F1 score for rally detection in table tennis videos from 0.79 in case of global frame-level features to 0.89 using our proposed player-level features. Please see the supplementary video submission at https://ibm.biz/BdzeZA.

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