Exploring video descriptions for handwashing activities as part of an obsessive-compulsive disorder study

Joshua Fasching, Nicholas Walczak, Tasoulla Hadjiyanni, Gail A. Bernstein, Kathryn Cullen, Mackenzie Mikkelsen, Nathan Studanski, Vassilios Morellas, Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Analysis of behavior using video is a promising approach for identifying risk markers for psychopathology that can be applied in a wide range of populations. As part of a study on the environmental factors that relate to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) behaviors, videos were recorded of everyday tasks being performed by two groups of children: a control group and a group diagnosed with OCD. One of the activities involved handwashing, since handwashing compulsions are frequent amongst those who suffer from OCD. Being able to classify these handwashing videos as showing behaviors associated with OCD or not is a step towards helping to automate important aspects of this psychiatric study. This paper explores using various feature descriptors sampled from dense motion trajectories to determine which combination of features and encodings would be best for video classification. Dense motion trajectories are computed for the videos from the OCD study and the points in these trajectories are described using several methods, including histograms of oriented gradient, histograms of optical flow, and motion boundary histograms. Various encoding techniques for these descriptors are also explored, including bag of words, pyramid bag of words, and sparse coding. To determine which feature/encoding techniques would perform the best, several dimensionality reduction techniques are used and the methods are ranked based on separability in the low dimensional space. This separability is measured by classifying using a linear discriminant and also by using kNN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1174-1179
Number of pages6
Journal24th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, MED 2016
StatePublished - Aug 5 2016
Event24th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, MED 2016 - Athens, Greece
Duration: Jun 21 2016Jun 24 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Elizabeth Harris and Austin Young for their help. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Founda-tion through grants #IIP-0934327, #CNS-1039741, #SMA-1028076, #CNS-1338042, #OISE-1551059, and #CNS-1514626.


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