A state-based technique for the summarization and recognition of gesture is presented. We define a gesture to be a sequence of states in a measurement or configuration space. For a given gesture, these states are used to capture both the reapeatability and varaiability evidenced in a training set of example trajectories. The states are positioned along a prototype of the gesture, and shaped such that they are narrow in the directions in which the ensemble of examples is tightly constrained, and wide in directions in which a great deal of variability is observed. We develop techniques for computing a prototype trajectory of an ensemble of trajectories, for defining configuration states along the prototype, and for recognizing gestures from an unsegmented, continuous stream of sensor data. The approach is illustrated by application to a range of gesture-related sensory data: the two-dimensional movements of a mouse input device, the movement of the hand measured by a magnetic spatial position and orientation sensor, and, lastly, the changing eigenvector projection coefficients computed from an image sequence.
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