Team Activity Recognition in Sports

  • Cem Direkoǧlu
  • Noel E. O’Connor
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7578)


We introduce a novel approach for team activity recognition in sports. Given the positions of team players from a plan view of the playing field at any given time, we solve a particular Poisson equation to generate a smooth distribution defined on whole playground, termed the position distribution of the team. Computing the position distribution for each frame provides a sequence of distributions, which we process to extract motion features for team activity recognition. The motion features are obtained at each frame using frame differencing and optical flow. We investigate the use of the proposed motion descriptors with Support Vector Machines (SVM) classification, and evaluate on a publicly available European handball dataset. Results show that our approach can classify six different team activities and performs better than a method that extracts features from the explicitly defined positions. Our method is new and different from other trajectory-based methods. These methods extract activity features using the explicitly defined trajectories, where the players have specific positions at any given time, and ignore the rest of the playground. In our work, on the other hand, given the specific positions of the team players at a frame, we construct a position distribution for the team on the whole playground and process the sequence of position distribution images to extract motion features for activity recognition. Results show that our approach is effective.


Support Vector Machine Poisson Equation Activity Recognition Test Frame Team Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cem Direkoǧlu
    • 1
  • Noel E. O’Connor
    • 1
  1. 1.CLARITY: Centre for Sensor Web TechnologiesDublin City UniversityIreland

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