Biometrics Frequently Asked Questions
number of users, user circumstances, existing data, etc. Itis also important to note that biometric modalities are invarying stages of maturity. For example, fingerprintrecognition has been used for over a century while irisrecognition is a little more than a decade old. It should benoted that maturity is not related to which technology isthe best, but can be an indicator of which technologieshave more implementation experience.
Q4: How are biometrics collected?
Biometrics are typically collected using a device called asensor. These sensors are used to acquire the data neededfor recognition and to convert the data to a digital form.The quality of the sensor used has a significant impact onthe recognition results. Example “sensors” could be digitalcameras (for face recognition) or a telephone (for voicerecognition).
Q5: What are biometric templates?
A biometric template is a digital representation of anindividual’s distinct characteristics, representinginformation extracted from a biometric sample. Biometrictemplates are what are actually compared in a biometricrecognition system. Templates can vary between biometricmodalities as well as vendors. Not all biometric devicesare template based. For example, voice recognition isbased on “models.” The difference between templates andmodels is beyond the scope of this paper.
Q6: What is the difference between recognition, verificationand identification?
is a generic term, and does not necessarilyimply either verification or identification. All biometricsystems perform “recognition” to “again know” aperson who has been previously enrolled.
is a task where the biometric systemattempts to confirm an individual’s claimed identity bycomparing a submitted sample to one or morepreviously enrolled templates.
is a task where the biometric systemattempts to determine the identity of an individual. Abiometric is collected and compared to all thetemplates in a database. Identification is “closed-set”if the person is known to exist in the database. In“open-set” identification, sometimes referred to as a
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