Cluster-level pseudo-labelling for source-free cross-domain facial expression recognition

Alessandro Conti1, Paolo Rota1, Yiming Wang2, and Elisa Ricci1,2


Emotion recognition is involved in several real-world applications. With an increase in available modalities, automatic understanding of emotions is being performed more accurately. The success in Multimodal Emotion Recognition (MER), primarily relies on the supervised learning paradigm. However, data annotation is expensive, time-consuming, and as emotion expression and perception depends on several factors (e.g., age, gender, culture) obtaining labels with a high reliability is hard. Motivated by these, we focus on unsupervised feature learning for MER. We consider discrete emotions, and as modalities text, audio and vision are used. Our method, as being based on contrastive loss between pairwise modalities, is the first attempt in MER literature. Our end-to-end feature learning approach has several differences (and advantages) compared to existing MER methods: i) it is unsupervised, so the learning is lack of data labelling cost; ii) it does not require data spatial augmentation, modality alignment, large number of batch size or epochs; iii) it applies data fusion only at inference; and iv) it does not require backbones pre-trained on emotion recognition task. The experiments on benchmark datasets show that our method outperforms several baseline approaches and unsupervised learning methods applied in MER. Particularly, it even surpasses a few supervised MER state-of-the-art.

1 University of Trento
2 Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK)