Intelligent Temporal Subsampling of American Sign Language Using Event Boundaries

David H. Parish, George Sperling, Michael S. Landy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


How well can a sequence of frames be represented by a subset of the frames? Video sequences of American Sign Language (ASL) were investigated in two modes: dynamic (ordinary video) and static (frames printed side by side on the display). An activity index was used to choose critical frames at event boundaries, times when the difference between successive frames is at a local minimum. Sign intelligibility was measured for 32 experienced ASL signers who viewed individual signs. For full gray-scale dynamic signs activity-index subsampling yielded sequences that were significantly more intelligible than when every mth frame was chosen. This result was even more pronounced for static images. For binary images, the relative advantage of activity subsampling was smaller. We conclude that event boundaries can be defined computationally and that subsampling from event boundaries is better than choosing at regular intervals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-294
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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