Using 'Minutiae' to Match Fingerprints Can Be Accurate

Mar 17, 2006
Using 'Minutiae' to Match Fingerprints Can Be Accurate
Fingerprint image with four different minutiae points marked. Minutiae types shown are (from left) a bifurcation, ridge ending, core and delta.

A study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology shows that computerized systems that match fingerprints using interoperable minutiae templates—mathematical representations of a fingerprint image—can be highly accurate as an alternative to the full fingerprint image.

NIST conducted the study, called the Minutiae Interoperability Exchange Test (MINEX), to determine whether fingerprint system vendors could successfully use a recently approved standard for minutiae data rather than images of actual prints as the medium for exchanging data between different fingerprint matching systems.

Minutiae templates are a fraction of the size of fingerprint images, require less storage memory and can be transmitted electronically faster than images. However, the techniques used by vendors to convert fingerprint images to minutiae are generally proprietary and their systems do not work with each other.

For many years, law enforcement agencies have used automated fingerprint matching devices. Increasingly, smart cards—which include biometric information such as fingerprints—are being used to improve security at borders and at federal facilities. The increased use and the desire to limit storage space needed on these cards is driving the use of minutiae rather than full images.

Fourteen fingerprint vendors from around the world participated in MINEX. Performance depended largely on how many fingerprints from an individual were being matched. Systems using two index fingers were accurate more than 98 percent of the time. For single-index finger matching, the systems produced more accurate results with images than with standard minutia templates. However, systems using images and two fingers had the highest rates of accuracy, 99.8 percent. Results of the test are available at fingerprint.nist.gov/minex04/.

Source: NIST

Explore further: Boosting the energy efficiency of working buildings with passive and active technologies

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

iPhone 5S fingerprint scanning: Thumbs up or down?

Sep 13, 2013

Technology to acquire and use biometric data such as fingerprints has been around for several decades and has made its way from forensic investigation to laptop computers – and now, with this week's introduction ...

NIST shows on-card fingerprint match is secure, speedy

Apr 02, 2008

A fingerprint identification technology for use in Personal Identification Verification (PIV) cards that offers improved protection from identity theft meets the standardized accuracy criteria for federal ...

Recommended for you

First self-contained step dimming LED tube

27 minutes ago

Samsung Electronics today introduced the industry's first AC Direct step-dimming LED linear replacement for T8 and T12 fluorescent tubes at the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Convention ...

Battery system will be able to light 2,500 homes

56 minutes ago

One of the largest, most environmentally-friendly, battery-based energy storage systems in the nation will be installed at the University of California, San Diego the campus announced today (Sept. 29).

User comments : 0