Human Motion Recognition With Limited Radar Micro-Doppler Signatures

X. Li, Y. He, F. Fioranelli, X. Jing, A. Yarovoy, Y. Yang

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The performance of deep learning (DL) algorithms for radar-based human motion recognition (HMR) is hindered by the diversity and volume of the available training data. In this article, to tackle the issue of insufficient training data for HMR, we propose an instance-based transfer learning (ITL) method with limited radar micro-Doppler (MD) signatures, alleviating the burden of collecting and annotating a large number of radar samples. ITL is a unique algorithm that consists of three interconnected parts, including DL model pretraining, correlated source data selection, and adaptive collaborative fine-tuning (FT). Any of the three components cannot be excluded; otherwise, the performance of the entire algorithm decreases. The experiments with a radar data set of six human motions show that ITL achieves state-of-the-art performance for HMR with limited training samples, outperforming several existing transfer learning approaches. Especially, when there are only 100 samples per person per class, ITL yields an F1 score of 96.7%. Last but not least, ITL is more generalized to human motion differences. Though adapted to recognize the persons' motions in a small-scale target data set, ITL can also classify the persons' motion data used for pretraining, achieving up to 11.0% F1 score enhancement over the conventional FT method.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Deep learning (DL)
  • human motion recognition (HMR)
  • radar micro-Doppler (MD)
  • transfer learning

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