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Despite the fact that face detection has been studied intensively over the past several decades, the problem is still not completely solved. Challenging conditions, such as extreme pose, lighting, and occlusion, have historically hampered traditional, model-based methods. In contrast, exemplar-based face detection has been shown to be effective, even under these challenging conditions, primarily because a large exemplar database is leveraged to cover all possible visual variations. However, relying heavily on a large exemplar database to deal with the face appearance variations makes the detector impractical due to the high space and time complexity. We construct an efficient boosted exemplar-based face detector which overcomes the defect of the previous work by being faster, more memory efficient, and more accurate. In our method, exemplars as weak detectors are discriminatively trained and selectively assembled in the boosting framework which largely reduces the number of required exemplars. Notably, we propose to include non-face images as negative exemplars to actively suppress false detections to further improve the detection accuracy. We verify our approach over two public face detection benchmarks and one personal photo album, and achieve significant improvement over the state-of-the-art algorithms in terms of both accuracy and efficiency.

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