Sentioscope: A Soccer Player Tracking System Using Model Field Particles
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Tracking multiple players is crucial to analyze soccer videos in real time. Yet, rapid illumination changes and occlusions among players who look similar from a distance make tracking in soccer very difficult. Particle-filter-based approaches have been utilized for their ability in tracking under occlusion and rapid motions. Unlike the common practice of choosing particles on targets, we introduce the notion of shared particles densely sampled at fixed positions on the model field. We globally evaluate targets' likelihood of being on the model field particles using our combined appearance and motion model. This allows us to encapsulate the interactions among the targets in the state-space model and track players through challenging occlusions. The proposed tracking algorithm is embedded into a real-life soccer player tracking system called Sentioscope. We describe the complete steps of the system and evaluate our approach on large-scale video data gathered from professional soccer league matches. The experimental results show that the proposed algorithm is more successful, compared with the previous methods, in multiple-object tracking with similar appearances and unpredictable motion patterns such as in team sports.