30th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-21)
Orientation is a crucial skill for football players that becomes a differential factor in a large set of events, especially the ones involving passes. However, existing orientation estimation methods, which are based on computer-vision techniques, still have a lot of room for improvement. To the best of our knowledge, this article presents the first deep learning model for estimating orientation directly from video footage. By approaching this challenge as a classification problem where classes correspond to orientation bins, and by introducing a cyclic loss function, a well-known convolutional network is refined to provide player orientation data. The model is trained by using ground-truth orientation data obtained from wearable EPTS devices, which are individually compensated with respect to the perceived orientation in the current frame. The obtained results outperform previous methods; in particular, the absolute median error is less than 12 degrees per player. An ablation study is included in order to show the potential generalization to any kind of football video footage.
Arbués-Sangüesa A, Martín A, Granero P, Ballester C, Haro G. Learning Football Body-Orientation as a Matter of Classification. In: AA. VV.. 30th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-21). 1 ed. Montreal: IJCAI; 2021. p. 1-8.