A 3DCNN-Based Knowledge Distillation Framework for Human Activity Recognition

Hayat Ullah, Arslan Munir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human action recognition has been actively explored over the past two decades to further advancements in video analytics domain. Numerous research studies have been conducted to investigate the complex sequential patterns of human actions in video streams. In this paper, we propose a knowledge distillation framework, which distills spatio-temporal knowledge from a large teacher model to a lightweight student model using an offline knowledge distillation technique. The proposed offline knowledge distillation framework takes two models: a large pre-trained 3DCNN (three-dimensional convolutional neural network) teacher model and a lightweight 3DCNN student model (i.e., the teacher model is pre-trained on the same dataset on which the student model is to be trained on). During offline knowledge distillation training, the distillation algorithm trains only the student model to help enable the student model to achieve the same level of prediction accuracy as the teacher model. To evaluate the performance of the proposed method, we conduct extensive experiments on four benchmark human action datasets. The obtained quantitative results verify the efficiency and robustness of the proposed method over the state-of-the-art human action recognition methods by obtaining up to 35% improvement in accuracy over existing methods. Furthermore, we evaluate the inference time of the proposed method and compare the obtained results with the inference time of the state-of-the-art methods. Experimental results reveal that the proposed method attains an improvement of up to 50× in terms of frames per seconds (FPS) over the state-of-the-art methods. The short inference time and high accuracy make our proposed framework suitable for human activity recognition in real-time applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number82
JournalJournal of Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • 3DCNN
  • deep learning
  • deep neural networks
  • human action recognition
  • knowledge distillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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