This paper presents a fully automatic and highly robust head tracking algorithm based on the latest advances in real-time multi-view face detection techniques and multiple cues fusion under particle filter framework. Visual cues designed for general object tracking problem hardly suffice for robust head tracking under diverse or even severe circumstances, making it a necessity to utilize higher level information which is object-specific. To this end we introduce a
vector-boosted multi-view face detector
 as the “face cue” in addition to two other general visual cues targeting the entire head, color spatiogram and contour gradient. Data fusion is done by an
extended particle filter
which supports multiple distinct yet interrelated state vectors (referring to face and head in our tracking context). Furthermore, pose information provided by the face cue is exploited to help achieve improved accuracy and efficiency in the fusion. Experiments show that our algorithm is highly robust against target position, size and pose change as well as unfavorable conditions such as occlusion, poor illumination and cluttered background.