Distributed spatiotemporal gesture recognition in sensor arrays

Homa Hosseinmardi, Akshay Mysore, Nicholas Farrow, Nikolaus Correll, Richard Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


We present algorithms for gesture recognition using in-network processing in distributed sensor arrays embedded within systems such as tactile input devices, sensing skins for robotic applications, and smart walls. We describe three distributed gesture-recognition algorithms that are designed to function on sensor arrays with minimal computational power, limited memory, limited bandwidth, and possibly unreliable communication. These constraints cause storage of gesture templates within the system and distributed consensus algorithms for recognizing gestures to be difficult. Building up on a chain vector encoding algorithm commonly used for gesture recognition on a central computer, we approach this problem by dividing the gesture dataset between nodes such that each node has access to the complete dataset via its neighbors. Nodes share gesture information among each other, then each node tries to identify the gesture. In order to distribute the computational load among all nodes, we also investigate an alternative algorithm, in which each node that detects a motion will apply a recognition algorithm to part of the input gesture, then share its data with all other motion nodes. Next, we show that a hybrid algorithm that distributes both computation and template storage can address trade-offs between memory and computational efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
Number of pages19
JournalACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Distributed computing
  • Error resilient
  • Gesture recognition


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