Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Computer Science and Engineering

Major Professor

Rangachar Kasturi, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Sudeep Sarkar, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dmitry Goldgof, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Richard Gitlin, Sc.D.

Committee Member

Toru Shimizu, Ph.D.


3D Human Pose, Camera Viewpoint, Deep Neural Network


Despite the impressive advancements in people detection and tracking, safety is still a key barrier to the deployment of autonomous vehicles in urban environments [1]. For example, in non-autonomous technology, there is an implicit communication between the people crossing the street and the driver to make sure they have communicated their intent to the driver. Therefore, it is crucial for the autonomous car to infer the future intent of the pedestrian quickly. We believe that human body orientation with respect to the camera can help the intelligent unit of the car to anticipate the future movement of the pedestrians. To further improve the safety of pedestrians, it is important to recognize whether they are distracted, carrying a baby, or pushing a shopping cart. Therefore, estimating the fine- grained 3D pose, i.e. (x,y,z)-coordinates of the body joints provides additional information for decision-making units of driverless cars.

In this dissertation, we have proposed a deep learning-based solution to classify the categorized body orientation in still images. We have also proposed an efficient framework based on our body orientation classification scheme to estimate human 3D pose in monocular RGB images.

Furthermore, we have utilized the dynamics of human motion to infer the body orientation in image sequences. To achieve this, we employ a recurrent neural network model to estimate continuous body orientation from the trajectories of body joints in the image plane.

The proposed body orientation and 3D pose estimation framework are tested on the largest 3D pose estimation benchmark, Human3.6m (both in still images and video), and we have proved the efficacy of our approach by benchmarking it against the state-of-the-art approaches.

Another critical feature of self-driving car is to avoid an obstacle. In the current prototypes the car either stops or changes its lane even if it causes other traffic disruptions. However, there are situations when it is preferable to collide with the object, for example a foam box, rather than take an action that could result in a much more serious accident than collision with the object. In this dissertation, for the first time, we have presented a novel method to discriminate between physical properties of these types of objects such as bounciness, elasticity, etc. based on their motion characteristics . The proposed algorithm is tested on synthetic data, and, as a proof of concept, its effectiveness on a limited set of real-world data is demonstrated.