Nav: Home

New Notre Dame research raises questions about iris recognition systems

July 12, 2012

Since the early days of iris recognition technologies, it has been assumed that the iris was a "stable" biometric over a person's lifetime -- "one enrollment for life." However, new research from University of Notre Dame researchers has found that iris biometric enrollment is susceptible to an aging process that causes recognition performance to degrade slowly over time.

"The biometric community has long accepted that there is no 'template aging effect' for iris recognition, meaning that once you are enrolled in an iris recognition system, your chances of experiencing a false non-match error remain constant over time," Kevin Bowyer, Notre Dame's Schubmel-Prein Family Chair in Computer Science and Engineering, said. "This was sometimes expressed as 'a single enrollment for life.' Our experimental results show that, in fact, the false non-match rate increases over time, which means that the single enrollment for life idea is wrong.

"The false match rate is how often the system says that two images are a match when in truth they are from different persons. The false non-match rate is how often the system says that two images are not a match when in truth they are from the same person."

Bowyer noted that there are several reasons the misconceptions about iris biometric stability has persisted.

"One reason is that because it was believed from the early days of iris recognition that there was no template aging effect, nobody bothered to look for the effect," he said. "Also, only recently have research groups had access to image datasets acquired for the same people over a period of several years. Recently, another biometric research group (from Clarkson University and West Virginia University) has also published a study that finds an iris template aging effect."

In their study, Bowyer and Notre Dame undergraduate Sam Fenker analyzed a large dataset with more images acquired over a longer period of time. For one group of people in their dataset, they were able to analyze a year-to-year change over three successive years.

Bowyer points out that iris recognition is already used in various airports and border crossings, including London airports, Schiphol 9Amsterdam) airport, and border entry in the United Arab Emirates. And probably the highest profile and largest application of iris biometrics currently underway is the Unique ID program in India, which has enrolled more people that live in the United Kingdom.

Despite the results of the study, Bowyer does not see them as a "negative" for iris recognition technologies.

"I do not see this as a major problem for security systems going forward," he said. "Once you have admitted that there is a template effect and have set up your system to handle it appropriately in some way, it is no longer a big deal. One possibility is setting up a reenrollment interval. Another possibility is some type of 'rolling re-enrollment,' in which a person is automatically re-enrolled each time they are recognized. And, in the long run, researchers may develop new approaches that are 'aging-resistant.' The iris template aging effect will only be a problem for those who for some reason refuse to believe that it exists."

Bowyer and Fenker recently presented their research paper at the IEEE Computer Society Biometrics Workshop.

-end-

A copy of the paper is available at: http://www.cse.nd.edu/~kwb/FenkerBowyerCVPRW_2012.pdf

University of Notre Dame
Brain development and aging
The brain is a complex organ -- a network of nerve cells, or neurons, producing thought, memory, action, and feeling.
Aging gracefully in the rainforest
In an article that appears in the current issue of Evolutionary Anthropology, researchers synthesize over 15 years of theoretical and empirical findings from long-term study of the Tsimane forager-farmers.
Reversing aging now possible!
DGIST's research team identified the mechanism of reversible recovery of aging cells by inducing lysosomal activation.
Brain-aging gene discovered
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have discovered a common genetic variant that greatly affects normal brain aging in older adults.
Aging can be good for you (if you're a yeast)
It's a cheering thought for anyone heading towards their golden years.
How eating less can slow the aging process
New research shows why calorie restriction made mice live longer and healthier lives.
Turning back the aging clock
By boosting genes that destroy defective mitochondrial DNA, researchers can slow down and potentially reverse an important part of the aging process.
Insilico Medicine launches a deep learned biomarker of aging, Aging.AI 2.0 for testing
Insilico Medicine, Inc., a company applying latest advances in deep learning to biomarker development, drug discovery and aging research, launched Aging.AI 2.0.
Substance with the potential to postpone aging
The coenzyme NAD+ plays a main role in aging processes.
What does a healthy aging cat look like?
Just as improved diet and medical care have resulted in increased life expectancy in humans, advances in nutrition and veterinary care have increased the life span of pet cats.

Best Science Podcasts 2017

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2017. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.

Now Playing: Radiolab

Truth Trolls
Today, a third story of folks relentlessly searching for the truth. But this time, the truth seekers are an unlikely bunch... internet trolls.


Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking School
For most of modern history, humans have placed smaller humans in institutions called schools. But what parts of this model still work? And what must change? This hour, TED speakers rethink education.TED speakers include teacher Tyler DeWitt, social entrepreneur Sal Khan, international education expert Andreas Schleicher, and educator Linda Cliatt-Wayman.