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<p><b>Abstract</b>—Hidden Markov models (HMMs) have become the workhorses of the monitoring and event recognition literature because they bring to time-series analysis the utility of density estimation and the convenience of dynamic time warping. Once trained, the internals of these models are considered opaque; there is no effort to interpret the hidden states. We show that by minimizing the entropy of the joint distribution, an HMM's internal state machine can be made to organize observed activity into meaningful states. This has uses in video monitoring and annotation, low bit-rate coding of scene activity, and detection of anomalous behavior. We demonstrate with models of office activity and outdoor traffic, showing how the framework learns principal modes of activity and patterns of activity change. We then show how this framework can be adapted to infer hidden state from extremely ambiguous images, in particular, inferring 3D body orientation and pose from sequences of low-resolution silhouettes.</p>
Video activity monitoring, hidden Markov models, hidden state, parameter estimation, entropy minimization.

V. Kettnaker and M. Brand, "Discovery and Segmentation of Activities in Video," in IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis & Machine Intelligence, vol. 22, no. , pp. 844-851, 2000.
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