The Effect of Wearing a Face Mask on Face Image Quality

AutorFu, Biying; Kirchbuchner, Florian; Damer, Naser
ArtConference Paper
AbstraktDue to the COVID-19 situation, face masks have become a main part of our daily life. Wearing mouth-and-nose protection has been made a mandate in many public places, to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. However, face masks affect the performance of face recognition, since a large area of the face is covered. The effect of wearing a face mask on the different components of the face recognition system in a collaborative environment is a problem that is still to be fully studied. This work studies, for the first time, the effect of wearing a face mask on face image quality by utilising state-of-the-art face image quality assessment methods of different natures. This aims at providing better understanding on the effect of face masks on the operation of face recognition as a whole system. In addition, we further studied the effect of simulated masks on face image utility in comparison to real face masks. We discuss the correlation between the mask effect on face image quality and that on the face verification performance by automatic systems and human experts, indicating a consistent trend between both factors. The evaluation is conducted on the database containing (1) no-masked faces, (2) real face masks, and (3) simulated face masks, by synthetically generating digital facial masks on no-masked faces. Finally, a visual interpretation of the face areas contributing to the quality score of a selected set of quality assessment methods is provided to give a deeper insight into the difference of network decisions in masked and non-masked faces, among other variations.
KonferenzInternational Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition (FG) 2021