STEP: Spatial Temporal Graph Convolutional Networks for Emotion Perception from Gaits

  • Uttaran Bhattacharya University of Maryland, College Park
  • Trisha Mittal University of Maryland, College Park
  • Rohan Chandra University of Maryland, College Park
  • Tanmay Randhavane University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Aniket Bera University of Maryland, College Park
  • Dinesh Manocha University of Maryland, College Park


We present a novel classifier network called STEP, to classify perceived human emotion from gaits, based on a Spatial Temporal Graph Convolutional Network (ST-GCN) architecture. Given an RGB video of an individual walking, our formulation implicitly exploits the gait features to classify the perceived emotion of the human into one of four emotions: happy, sad, angry, or neutral. We train STEP on annotated real-world gait videos, augmented with annotated synthetic gaits generated using a novel generative network called STEP-Gen, built on an ST-GCN based Conditional Variational Autoencoder (CVAE). We incorporate a novel push-pull regularization loss in the CVAE formulation of STEP-Gen to generate realistic gaits and improve the classification accuracy of STEP. We also release a novel dataset (E-Gait), which consists of 4,227 human gaits annotated with perceived emotions along with thousands of synthetic gaits. In practice, STEP can learn the affective features and exhibits classification accuracy of 88% on E-Gait, which is 14–30% more accurate over prior methods.

AAAI Technical Track: Cognitive Systems