Face Recognition System using LBPH Algorithm

5 min readJun 24, 2021


Human beings perform face recognition automatically every day and practically with no effort.

Although it sounds like a very simple task for us, it has proven to be a complex task for a computer, as it has many variables that can impair the accuracy of the methods, for example: illumination variation, low resolution, occlusion, amongst other.

  • Face Detection: it has the objective of finding the faces (location and size) in an image and probably extract them to be used by the face recognition algorithm.
  • Face Recognition: with the facial images already extracted, cropped, resized and usually converted to grayscale, the face recognition algorithm is responsible for finding characteristics which best describe the image.

Local Binary Pattern Histogram

Local Binary Pattern (LBP) is a simple yet very efficient texture operator which labels the pixels of an image by thresholding the neighborhood of each pixel and considers the result as a binary number.

Using the LBP combined with histograms we can represent the face images with a simple data vector.

  1. Parameters: the LBPH uses 4 parameters:
  • Radius: the radius is used to build the circular local binary pattern and represents the radius around the central pixel. It is usually set to 1.
  • Neighbors: the number of sample points to build the circular local binary pattern. Keep in mind: the more sample points you include, the higher the computational cost. It is usually set to 8.
  • Grid X: the number of cells in the horizontal direction. The more cells, the finer the grid, the higher the dimensionality of the resulting feature vector. It is usually set to 8.
  • Grid Y: the number of cells in the vertical direction. The more cells, the finer the grid, the higher the dimensionality of the resulting feature vector. It is usually set to 8.

2. Training the Algorithm: First, we need to train the algorithm. To do so, we need to use a dataset with the facial images of the people we want to recognize. We need to also set an ID (it may be a number or the name of the person) for each image, so the algorithm will use this information to recognize an input image and give you an output. Images of the same person must have the same ID. With the training set already constructed, let’s see the LBPH computational steps.

3. Applying the LBP operation: The first computational step of the LBPH is to create an intermediate image that describes the original image in a better way, by highlighting the facial characteristics. To do so, the algorithm uses a concept of a sliding window, based on the parameters radius and neighbors.

4. Extracting the Histograms: Now, using the image generated in the last step, we can use the Grid X and Grid Y parameters to divide the image into multiple grids, as can be seen in the following image:

5. Performing the face recognition: In this step, the algorithm is already trained. Each histogram created is used to represent each image from the training dataset. So, given an input image, we perform the steps again for this new image and creates a histogram which represents the image.

  • Verification or authentication of a facial image: it basically compares the input facial image with the facial image related to the user which is requiring the authentication. It is basically a 1x1 comparison.
  • Identification or facial recognition: it basically compares the input facial image with all facial images from a dataset with the aim to find the user that matches that face. It is basically a 1xN comparison.

LBPH is one of the easiest face recognition algorithms. It can represent local features in the images and it is possible to get great results (mainly in a controlled environment).It is also robust against monotonic gray scale transformations.

what is Haar Cascade?

It is an Object Detection Algorithm used to identify faces in an image or a real time video. The algorithm uses edge or line detection features proposed by Viola and Jones in their research paper “Rapid Object Detection using a Boosted Cascade of Simple Features” published in 2001. The algorithm is given a lot of positive images consisting of faces, and a lot of negative images not consisting of any face to train on them.

  • We use Haar Cascade to detect the face and with the help of face_extractor function we crop the images.
  • With help of computer vision we collect the images and process it as per our requirements
Image samples are stored in a directory with unique name
  • We train the model by providing the collected images with the help of LBPH Algorithm.


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Thank you!!




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