Machine Vision and Applications

, Volume 28, Issue 5–6, pp 463–473 | Cite as

Power difference template for action recognition

  • Liangliang WangEmail author
  • Ruifeng Li
  • Yajun Fang
Original Paper


This paper proposes power difference template as a new spatial-temporal representation for action recognition. Specifically, spatial power features are first extracted according to the transform of Gaussian convolution on gradients between logarithmic and exponential domain. Using the forward–backward frame power difference method, we thus present normalized projection histogram (NPH) to characterize segmented action spatial features by normalizing histogram of the 2D horizontal–vertical projections. Furthermore, from the perspective of energy conservation, motion kinetic velocity (MKV) is introduced as a supplement for representing temporal relationships of power features by supposing that the variation of power is produced by motion in the form of kinetic energy. Our power difference template fusing NPH and MKV is further integrated to a bag of word model for training and testing under a support vector machine framework. Experiments on KTH, UCF Sports, UCF101 and HMDB datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.


Action recognition Power difference template Normalized projection histogram Motion kinetic velocity 



This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No.: 661273339). The author also would like to thank Berthold K. P. Horn for his good ideas during author’s visit study at MIT CSAIL.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Robotics and SystemHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinChina
  2. 2.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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