Fashion experts might have some new competition when it comes to spotting general trends, as researchers from Taiwan and the University of Rochester have developed algorithms that enable a computer to identify fashion trends that make their way from the runway to the street.
The researchers trained machine-learning algorithms to identify a human figure and nine anatomical sections, and to assess features such as color and texture, clothing categories such as "skirt," and elements such as a placket (an opening in a garment).
The researchers created two databases that contained images of recent New York fashions shows and images of people's clothes gleaned from social media sites. They report their program picked up on several general trends and spotted modifications to catwalk styles.
Kezhen Chen, who started the project while taking a course with University of Rochester professor Jiebo Luo, believes the research could help garment makers and distributors better tailor supply to meet demand.
The team's paper will be presented at the ACM Multimedia conference in Australia later this month.
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