SALSA: A novel dataset for multimodal group behavior analysis

Xavier Alameda-Pineda, Jacopo Staiano, Ramanathan Subramanian, Ligia Batrinca, Elisa Ricci, Bruno Lepri, Oswald Lanz, Nicu Sebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


Studying free-standing conversational groups (FCGs) in unstructured social settings (e.g., cocktail party ) is gratifying due to the wealth of information available at the group (mining social networks) and individual (recognizing native behavioral and personality traits) levels. However, analyzing social scenes involving FCGs is also highly challenging due to the difficulty in extracting behavioral cues such as target locations, their speaking activity and head/body pose due to crowdedness and presence of extreme occlusions. To this end, we propose SALSA, a novel dataset facilitating multimodal and Synergetic sociAL Scene Analysis, and make two main contributions to research on automated social interaction analysis: (1) SALSA records social interactions among 18 participants in a natural, indoor environment for over 60 minutes, under the poster presentation and cocktail party contexts presenting difficulties in the form of low-resolution images, lighting variations, numerous occlusions, reverberations and interfering sound sources; (2) To alleviate these problems we facilitate multimodal analysis by recording the social interplay using four static surveillance cameras and sociometric badges worn by each participant, comprising the microphone, accelerometer, bluetooth and infrared sensors. In addition to raw data, we also provide annotations concerning individuals' personality as well as their position, head, body orientation and F-formation information over the entire event duration. Through extensive experiments with state-of-the-art approaches, we show (a) the limitations of current methods and (b) how the recorded multiple cues synergetically aid automatic analysis of social interactions. SALSA is available at

Original languageEnglish
Article number7313015
Pages (from-to)1707-1720
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


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