Personalized quantification of facial normality: a machine learning approach.
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What is a normal face? A fundamental task for the facial reconstructive surgeon is to answer that question as it pertains to any given individual. Accordingly, it would be important to be able to place the facial appearance of a patient with congenital or acquired deformity numerically along their own continuum of normality, and to measure any surgical changes against such a personalized benchmark. This has not previously been possible. We have solved this problem by designing a computerized model that produces realistic, normalized versions of any given facial image, and objectively measures the perceptual distance between the raw and normalized facial image pair. The model is able to faithfully predict human scoring of facial normality. We believe this work represents a paradigm shift in the assessment of the human face, holding great promise for development as an objective tool for surgical planning, patient education, and as a means for clinical outcome measurement.