Face Bio-metrics under COVID (Masked Face Recognition Challenge & Workshop ICCV 2021)

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The Masked Face Recognition Challenge & Workshop will be held in conjunction with the International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV) 2021.


Jiankang Deng, Imperial College London, UK                                     j.deng16@imperial.ac.uk

Jia Guo, InsightFace, China                                                                guojia@gmail.com

Zheng Zhu, Tsinghua University, China                                               zhengzhu@tsinghua.edu.cn

Xiang An, InsightFace, China                                                              anxiangsir@gmail.com

Stefanos Zafeiriou, Imperial College London, UK                                s.zafeiriou@imperial.ac.uk


Face recognition under unconstrained conditions is one of the most widely studied topics in computer vision due to its extensive applications in surveillance, law enforcement, bio-metrics, marketing, and so forth. Traditionally, face recognition systems are presented with mostly non-occluded faces, which include primary facial features such as the eyes, nose, and mouth. However, there are a number of circumstances in which faces are occluded by masks such as in pandemics, medical settings, excessive pollution, or laboratories. During the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic, almost everyone wears a facial mask, which poses a huge challenge to face recognition. For instance, a person wearing a mask attempts to authenticate against a prior visa or passport photo at the airport. Traditional face recognition systems may not effectively recognize the masked faces, but removing the mask for authentication will increase the risk of virus infection. To cope with the above-mentioned challenging scenarios arising from wearing masks, it is crucial to improve the existing face recognition approaches. Recently, some commercial providers have announced the availability of face recognition algorithms capable of handling face masks, and an increasing number of research publications have surfaced on the topic of face recognition on people wearing masks. However, due to the sudden outbreak of the epidemic, there is yet no publicly available masked face recognition benchmark.

Inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic response, the widespread requirement that people wear protective face masks in public places has driven a need to understand how face recognition technology deals with occluded faces, often with just the periocular area and above visible. In this workshop, we will explore the influence of masks on face recognition and focus on bench-marking deep face recognition methods under the existence of facial masks. More specifically, we will utilise high-quality large-scale training data and a real-world masked face recognition test set. Before the workshop, we have run extensive experiments to provide comprehensive baseline methods under different time constraints. After the workshop, state-of-the-art solutions to the Masked Face Recognition Challenge (MFRC) will be re-implemented and released by us to facilitate future research in deep face recognition with facial masks.

Masked Face Recognition Challenge




Online Discussion:

Check this link for the challenge tips and further discussions.

Challenge & Workshop Paper Submission:

Challenge participants should submit a paper to summarize the methodology and the achieved performance of their algorithm. Submissions should adhere to the main ICCV 2021 proceedings style. The workshop papers will be published in the ICCV 2021 proceedings. Please sign up in the submission system to submit your paper.

Important Dates:



The Masked Face Recognition Challenge has been supported by 


Workshop Administrator:  insightface.challenge@gmail.com