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In this paper we present the Latent Regression Forest (LRF), a novel framework for real-time, 3D hand pose estimation from a single depth image. In contrast to prior forest-based methods, which take dense pixels as input, classify them independently and then estimate joint positions afterwards; our method can be considered as a structured coarse-to-fine search, starting from the centre of mass of a point cloud until locating all the skeletal joints. The searching process is guided by a learnt Latent Tree Model which reflects the hierarchical topology of the hand. Our main contributions can be summarised as follows: (i) Learning the topology of the hand in an unsupervised, data-driven manner. (ii) A new forest-based, discriminative framework for structured search in images, as well as an error regression step to avoid error accumulation. (iii) A new multi-view hand pose dataset containing 180K annotated images from 10 different subjects. Our experiments show that the LRF out-performs state-of-the-art methods in both accuracy and efficiency.
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