There are still many challenging problems in facial gender recognition which is mainly due to the complex
variances of face appearance. Although there has been tremendous research effort to develop robust gender recognition over the past decade, none has explicitly exploited the domain knowledge of the difference in appearance between male and female. Moustache contributes substantially to the
facial appearance difference between male and female and could be a good feature to be incorporated into facial gender recognition. Little work on moustache segmentation has been reported in the literature. In this paper, a novel realtime moustache detection method is proposed which combines face feature extraction, image decolorization and texture detection. Image decolorization, which converts a color image to grayscale, aims to enhance the color contrast while preserving the grayscale. On the other hand, moustache appearance is normally grayscale surrounded by the skin color face tissue. Hence, it is a fast and efficient way to segment the moustache by using the decolorization technology. In order to make the algorithm robust to the variances of illumination and head pose, an adaptive decolorization segmentation has been proposed in which both the segmentation threshold selection and the moustache region following are guided by some special regions defined by their geometric relationship with the salient facial features. Furthermore, a texture-based moustache classifier is developed to compensate the decolorization-based segmentation which could
detect the darker skin or shadow around themouth caused by the small lines or skin thicker from where he/she smiles as moustache. The face is verified as the face containing a moustache only when it satisfies: (1) a larger moustache region can be found by applying the decolorization segmentation; (2) the segmented moustache region is detected as moustache by the texture moustache detector. The experimental results on color FERET database showed that the proposed approach can achieve 89% moustache face detection rate
with 0.1%false acceptance rate. By incorporating the moustache detector into a facial gender recognition system, the gender recognition accuracy on a large database has been improved from 91 to 93.5%.