Contributing new detectors

written by Jin Hyun Cheong

In this tutorial we outline the necessary steps for users to contribute new models to the Py-FEAT toolbox. This will allow developers to gain a wide audience for their work and researchers can also benefit from making informed choices for selecting models.

1. Develop a model

Currently we have organized our models into the following categories:

  • au_detectors

  • emotion_detectors

  • face_detectors

  • landmark_detectors

Therefore any model you develop that fall into those categories can be added. If there is a new category you would like us to implement (e.g. gaze, head pose) please submit a pull request.

2. Benchmark your model.

We benchmark each model on a specified dataset. These are quite standard datasets. We employ an honor system that your model should not be using these datasets for training. We will also add new benchmark dataset and results as needed.

  • au_detectors: DISFA Plus

  • emotion_detectors: AffNet

  • face_detectors: WIDER

  • landmark_detectors: 300W

3. Add models to the toolbox.

Adding a new model to the Py-FEAT toolbox is easy if you are familiar with Python, Github, and package development. Here is 10 simple steps to adding a new model.

  1. For the Py-FEAT repository from

  2. Install the package to your computer in development mode. This will allow you to quickly test your code as you develop. python install -e .

  3. Make sure everything is working using pytest

  4. If you are testing in a Jupyter Notebook enviornment, enable autoreload so that every change you make on the toolbox is immediately loaded.

%load_ext autoreload
%autoreload 2
  1. Create a directory for your model. If you are adding a new emotion detector, and your model name is MYNEWMODEL, create folder feat/emo_detectors/MYNEWMODEL

  2. Add an empty file so that it is recognized as a submodule by Python. touch

  3. Create the model file, class, and methods. For example, this model file could be named which defines a class called myNewModel() which has a method detect_emo()

class myNewModel(): 
    ## code to init and load model
    detect_emo(self, imgs, *args **kwargs):
        ## code to detect emotions
        return [array with probabilities for 7 emotions]
  1. Add your model info and download url link to model_list.json This will allow us to download the model files when necessary.

  2. Lastly, add your method to so that it is accessible.

  3. Before submitting a pull request please run pytest to make sure other parts of the package is not broken.