PlayNet: real-time handball play classification with Kalman embeddings and neural networks

Overview of the proposed solution.


Real-time play recognition and classification algorithms are crucial for automating video production and live broadcasts of sporting events. However, current methods relying on human pose estimation and deep neural networks introduce high latency on commodity hardware, limiting their usability in low-cost real-time applications. We present PlayNet, a novel approach to real-time handball play classification. Our method is based on Kalman embeddings, a new low-dimensional representation for game states that enables efficient operation on commodity hardware and customized camera layouts. Firstly, we leverage Kalman filtering to detect and track the main agents in the playing field, allowing us to represent them in a single normalized coordinate space. Secondly, we utilize a neural network trained in non-linear dimensionality reduction through fuzzy topological data structure analysis. As a result, PlayNet achieves real-time play classification with under 55 ms of latency on commodity hardware, making it a promising addition to automated live broadcasting and game analysis pipelines.

In The Visual Computer.