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palmprintLatent Palmprint Matching

The evidential value of palmprints in forensic applications is clear, as about 30% of the latents recovered from crime scenes are from palms. While biometric systems for palmprint-based personal authentication in access control type of applications have been developed, they mostly deal with low resolution (about 100 ppi) palmprints and only perform full-to-full palmprint matching. We propose a latent-to-full palmprint matching system that is needed in forensic applications. Our system deals with palmprints captured at 500 ppi (the current standard in forensic applications) or higher resolution and uses minutiae as features to be compatible with the methodology used by latent experts. Latent palmprint matching is a challenging problem because latent prints lifted at crime scenes are of poor image quality, cover only a small area of the palm, and have a complex background. Other difficulties include a large number of minutiae in full prints (about 10 times as many as fingerprints), and the presence of many creases in latents and full prints. A robust algorithm to reliably estimate the local ridge direction and frequency in palmprints is developed. This facilitates the extraction of ridge and minutiae features even in poor quality palmprints. A fixed-length minutia descriptor, MinutiaCode, is utilized to capture distinctive information around each minutia and an alignment-based minutiae matching algorithm is used to match two palmprints.

Anil K. Jain, Jianjiang Feng, “Latent Palmprint Matching”, IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, Vol. 31, No. 6, pp. 1032-1047, 2009.

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