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ConfLab: A Data Collection Concept, Dataset, and Benchmark for Machine Analysis of Free-Standing Social Interactions in the Wild

Chirag Raman · Jose Vargas Quiros · Stephanie Tan · Ashraful Islam · Ekin Gedik · Hayley Hung

Hall J (level 1) #1026

Keywords: [ Social Human Behavior ] [ In-the-Wild Dataset ] [ Free-standing Conversations ]


Recording the dynamics of unscripted human interactions in the wild is challenging due to the delicate trade-offs between several factors: participant privacy, ecological validity, data fidelity, and logistical overheads. To address these, following a 'datasets for the community by the community' ethos, we propose the Conference Living Lab (ConfLab): a new concept for multimodal multisensor data collection of in-the-wild free-standing social conversations. For the first instantiation of ConfLab described here, we organized a real-life professional networking event at a major international conference. Involving 48 conference attendees, the dataset captures a diverse mix of status, acquaintance, and networking motivations. Our capture setup improves upon the data fidelity of prior in-the-wild datasets while retaining privacy sensitivity: 8 videos (1920x1080, 60 fps) from a non-invasive overhead view, and custom wearable sensors with onboard recording of body motion (full 9-axis IMU), privacy-preserving low-frequency audio (1250 Hz), and Bluetooth-based proximity. Additionally, we developed custom solutions for distributed hardware synchronization at acquisition, and time-efficient continuous annotation of body keypoints and actions at high sampling rates. Our benchmarks showcase some of the open research tasks related to in-the-wild privacy-preserving social data analysis: keypoints detection from overhead camera views, skeleton-based no-audio speaker detection, and F-formation detection.

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