Deciphering the crowd: Modeling and identification of pedestrian group motion

Zeynep Yücel, Francesco Zanlungo, Tetsushi Ikeda, Takahiro Miyashita, Norihiro Hagita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Associating attributes to pedestrians in a crowd is relevant for various areas like surveillance, customer profiling and service providing. The attributes of interest greatly depend on the application domain and might involve such social relations as friends or family as well as the hierarchy of the group including the leader or subordinates. Nevertheless, the complex social setting inherently complicates this task. We attack this problem by exploiting the small group structures in the crowd. The relations among individuals and their peers within a social group are reliable indicators of social attributes. To that end, this paper identifies social groups based on explicit motion models integrated through a hypothesis testing scheme. We develop two models relating positional and directional relations. A pair of pedestrians is identified as belonging to the same group or not by utilizing the two models in parallel, which defines a compound hypothesis testing scheme. By testing the proposed approach on three datasets with different environmental properties and group characteristics, it is demonstrated that we achieve an identification accuracy of 87% to 99%. The contribution of this study lies in its definition of positional and directional relation models, its description of compound evaluations, and the resolution of ambiguities with our proposed uncertainty measure based on the local and global indicators of group relation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-897
Number of pages23
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Motion model
  • Recognition
  • Tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Deciphering the crowd: Modeling and identification of pedestrian group motion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this