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Improving Detection of DeepFakes through Facial Region Analysis in Images

Lookup NU author(s): Fatimah Alanazi, Dr Gary Ushaw, Professor Graham MorganORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023 by the authors. In the evolving landscape of digital media, the discipline of media forensics, which encompasses the critical examination and authentication of digital images, videos, and audio recordings, has emerged as an area of paramount importance. This heightened significance is predominantly attributed to the burgeoning concerns surrounding the proliferation of DeepFakes, which are highly realistic and manipulated media content, often created using advanced artificial intelligence techniques. Such developments necessitate a profound understanding and advancement in media forensics to ensure the integrity of digital media in various domains. Current research endeavours are primarily directed towards addressing a common challenge observed in DeepFake datasets, which pertains to the issue of overfitting. Many suggested remedies centre around the application of data augmentation methods, with a frequently adopted strategy being the incorporation of random erasure or cutout. This method entails the random removal of sections from an image to introduce diversity and mitigate overfitting. Generating disparities between the altered and unaltered images serves to inhibit the model from excessively adapting itself to individual samples, thus leading to more favourable results. Nonetheless, the stochastic nature of this approach may inadvertently obscure facial regions that harbour vital information necessary for DeepFake detection. Due to the lack of guidelines on specific regions for cutout, most studies use a randomised approach. However, in recent research, face landmarks have been integrated to designate specific facial areas for removal, even though the selection remains somewhat random. Therefore, there is a need to acquire a more comprehensive insight into facial features and identify which regions hold more crucial data for the identification of DeepFakes. In this study, the investigation delves into the data conveyed by various facial components through the excision of distinct facial regions during the training of the model. The goal is to offer valuable insights to enhance forthcoming face removal techniques within DeepFake datasets, fostering a deeper comprehension among researchers and advancing the realm of DeepFake detection. Our study presents a novel method that uses face cutout techniques to improve understanding of key facial features crucial in DeepFake detection. Moreover, the method combats overfitting in DeepFake datasets by generating diverse images with these techniques, thereby enhancing model robustness. The developed methodology is validated against publicly available datasets like FF++ and Celeb-DFv2. Both face cutout groups surpassed the Baseline, indicating cutouts improve DeepFake detection. Face Cutout Group 2 excelled, with 91% accuracy on Celeb-DF and 86% on the compound dataset, suggesting external facial features’ significance in detection. The study found that eyes are most impactful and the nose is least in model performance. Future research could explore the augmentation policy’s effect on video-based DeepFake detection.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Alanazi F, Ushaw G, Morgan G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Electronics

Year: 2024

Volume: 13

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 28/12/2023

Acceptance date: 25/12/2023

Date deposited: 23/01/2024

ISSN (electronic): 2079-9292

Publisher: MDPI


DOI: 10.3390/electronics13010126


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