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Two-stage Approach for Palmprint Identification

using Hough Transform and Hausdorff Distance

Fang Li Maylor K.H. Leung
School of Computer Engineering School of Computer Engineering
Nanyang Technological University Nanyang Technological University
Singapore 639798 Singapore 639798
asfli@ntu.edu.sg asmkleung@ntu.edu.sg

Abstract—This work proposes a line-based Hough Transform identification uses local information. It performs speedy
method, which extracts global features for coarse-level filtering in interpretation of input images and retrieval of structurally
two-stage palmprint identification system. This is a novel similar models from large database according to the input.
approach to the application of the Hough transform for feature
extraction of palmprint. A principal line detection mechanism in This work proposes an image matching method in Hough
transformed space is also proposed based on a flooding process, space, which extract simple global pattern feature for coarse-
which is motivated by Rainfalling Watershed segmentation level filtering in two-stage palmprint identification system.
algorithm. The local neighbourhood information of principal This is a novel approach to the application of the Hough
lines is used as a means to measure similarity as well. It works by transform for feature extraction of palmprint. In traditional
first extracting consistent and structurally unique local chirognomy, the structure of principal lines (consisting of heart
neighbourhood information from inputs or models, and then line, head line and life line, very few examples have only two
voting on the optimal matches. It performs speedy interpretation principal lines) in the Region Of Interest (ROI) is checked.
of input images and retrieval of structurally similar models from This observation motivates us to extract principal lines pattern
large database according to the input. The local information as a supplementary feature. A principal line detection
extracted from position and orientation of individual line is used mechanism in transformed space is also proposed based on a
for further fine-level identification. Line-based Hausdorff flooding process, which is motivated by Rainfalling Watershed
Distance (LHD) algorithm is applied for local line matching. segmentation algorithm. The local neighbourhood information
Experiments had been conducted on a palmprint database
of principal lines is used as a means to measure similarity as
collected by Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Promising
results are achieved.
well. It works by first extracting consistent and structurally
unique local neighbourhood information from inputs or
Keywords—principal line detection, line segment, palmprint models, and then voting on the optimal matches. The local
identification information extracted from position and orientation of
individual line is used for further fine-level identification. Line-
based Hausdorff Distance (LHD) [12] algorithm is applied for
I. INTRODUCTION
local line matching. Experiments had been conducted on a
The palm is the inner surface of a hand between the wrist palmprint database collected by Hong Kong Polytechnic
and the fingers. ‘Palmprint’ refers to the various lines on a University. Promising results are achieved.
palm [1]. The pattern of palmprint has been hardwired into the
body at birth and remains relatively unaffected by aging. The rest of this paper is organized as follows: Section 2
Compared with other biometric traits, the advantages of introduces the structure of the proposed two-stage palmprint
palmprint are the availability of large palm area for feature identification system. Line-based HT, principal line detection
extraction, the simplicity of data collection and higher user using Watershed segmentation, and LHD are discussed in
acceptability [2-8]. In addition, it can be conveniently details in Section 3. Section 4 presents the results for
combined with a thermal-based camera to capture vein pattern identification. Finally, the conclusion and future work are
for additional authentication at the same time. highlighted in Section 5.

Feature extraction is the most important part in pattern II. SYSTEM OVERVIEW
recognition because features are the main keys to recognize an
unknown object. Principal lines and wrinkles, called line The block diagram of the proposed two stage palmprint
features, are the most clearly observable feature in palmprint matching system is demonstrated in Figure 1. The
images captured by normal digital camera [9]. Both global preprocessing module is consists of line detection, thinning,
feature (e.g. principal curve) and local features (e.g. position contour extraction, and polygonal approximation processes.
and orientation of individual line) can be extracted from line Polygonal approximation is applied to extract Line Edge Map
features [2][11]. This observation motivates us to develop a (LEM) [13] from a palm. Each curve on a palm is
two-stage matching scheme for the palm lines. Global features approximated using several straight line segments. In line
are used for coarse-level matching while the fine-level feature extraction phase, LEM is transformed by the line-based

1-4244-0342-1/06/$20.00 ©2006 IEEE ICARCV 2006

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Hough Transform into two dimension feature vector L ( ρ ,θ ) to
extract the global pattern of the palmprint and principal lines, at
the same time, the line segments set is stored as local
information for further fine-matching. Section 3 presents the
details of these two stages.

a) Sample LEM b) x-y plane

0
1
2
150 3
Accumulate 100 6
Angle
4
d Height 50 3
5
0 0
6
0 3 6 9 12 15
Distance
7
8

c) Frequency count of lines in ( ρ −θ ) space

Figure 2. Hough transform with ρ- θ plane

2) Distance of Global line structure
Hence, by converting these line segments to ( ρ − θ ) space,
the positions and orientations of principal lines and wrinkles
Figure 1. Block diagram of proposed two-stage palmprint matching system can be easily described using a feature
vector L = {lρ θ , ..., lρθ , ..., lρ θ } . In order to reduce the
min min max max

III. PROPOSED TWO-STAGE MATCHING SCHEME number of cells, the ρ-θ space is evenly grouped into 16x9
bins. Feature vector L is thus simplified to 16x9 integers to
represent the global pattern of the palmprint, which is 162B
There are two stages in our approach to match between the only for a 108KB image. The distance of global structures
input images and the templates from the database: coarse-level between Model image m and Test image t is calculated as
matching and fine-level matching. follows:
A. The first stage: coarse-level matching dist ( global ) = ∑θ (l m ρθ
ρ ∈[1,16 ], ∈[1, 9 ]
− l t ρθ ) 2 (1)
1) Hough Transform
The HT method is first used to detect straight lines from a The time complexity for matching one pair is o( pq) . p the
binary image. The result is then further enhanced to extract maximum bin number of ρ-dimension and q is the maximum
curves of the palm. Most papers related to HT deal with the bin number of θ-dimension. Since p and q are normally fairly
detection of curves of analytic shapes [14]. This paper presents small (Experimentally, p and q are set to 16 and 9
a method of using HT for palmprint matching. It is shown that respectively), the matching process is very efficient.
the line-matching problem in image space can readily be
converted into a point-matching problem in parametric ( ρ − θ ) 3) Local neighbourhood information of principal lines
space. This conversion is shown in Fig.2. The sample LEM It is found that feature vector L is too simple to get accurate
(160x160 resolution) in Fig. 2a is converted into the ρ-θ plane matching result. In traditional chirognomy, the structure of
according to the relationship illustrated in Fig. 2b. The 3D view principal lines (consisting of heart line, head line and life line,
of conversion result is shown in Fig. 2c. The height of each very few examples have only two principal lines) in the Region
Of Interest (ROI) is checked [11]. This observation motivates
bin, Lρθ, is the accumulated length of the lines whose distance
us to extract principal lines pattern as a supplementary feature.
to origin is Distance ρ and the intersection angle to x-axis is Since the principal lines are normally the longest curves in
Angle θ. palmprint, the problem of extracting principal lines can be
solved by extracting the longest curves [3]. A technique
derived from Rainfalling Watershed [15] is used to extract the
longest curves. This method is based on the idea that the line

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segments approximating the same curve or feature line have 1 N (4)
only slight deviations in line parameters. This idea is θk = ∑
L k i =1
(l bi × θ bi )
represented in Fig. 3. Represented by 3D ( ρ − θ ) space, which
is shown in Fig. 2c, these line segments are allocated in same where, the intersection angle to x-axis of ith bin in kth cluster
bin or neighbour bins. Palmprint can be imagined as many hills isθ b .
i

with different heights in 3D ( ρ − θ ) space. A flooding process,
Thus, the line segments that correspond to the main feature
which is shown in Fig. 4, is done to drown most of the hills by lines or principal lines in the ROI can be approximated using
raising the water level until only 3 or 2 groups of hills remain feature vector Principal={(L1,ρ1,θ1), (L2,ρ2,θ2), (L3,ρ3,θ3)} (
(depends on the number of the principal lines of the palmprint {(L1,ρ1,θ1), (L2,ρ2,θ2)} for those palms with two principal lines),
being analysed) . Hills under the threshold level will be marked which represents the central location and accumulated length of
as “non-principal lines”. Connected hills are clustered together the three/two peak clusters.
and ρ − θ values are averaged within cluster. Finally contours
are drawn at the outline of each group to end the segmentation
process.

(a)
(b)
a) grouping in ρ-θ space; b) extracted principal lines of Fig. 2a
Figure 3. Grouping line segments with similar line parameters Figure 5. Sample of grouping

Group3
Group1
Group2 In addition to the global structure of all the lines, the
neighbourhood structure of principal lines, at the same time,
can be seen as a supplementary mean to measure similarity.
Pair-wise geometric attributes are used to represent each local
neighbourhood structure here. The selected geometric attributes
of primitive features should be simple, invariant to
translation/scaling/rotation, relatively robust to end-point-
erosion, and sufficient for discrimination [16]. In our work,
D (la , lb ) = ( ρl − ρ l ) 2 + (θ l − θ l ) 2 is computed to represent
a b a b
Figure 4. Flooding process the relationship between a pair of line segments la and lb.
Therefore, by determining the grouped bins, one principal DNNmk is the relationship between each principal line mk
line k, which is corresponding to the kth cluster in this ROI, is
and its nearest neighbour in same model image. It is calculated
represented by three values, Lk, ρk, and θk. Take third group in
as follows:
Fig.5 as an example. There are two bins in this cluster to
represent third principal line. ρ3 and θ3 are the location of the D (mk , m j ) = ( ρ mk − ρ m j ) 2 + (θ mk − θ m j ) 2 (5)
3rd cluster. L3 is the accumulated value of the two bins in the
3rd cluster. In general, Lk is the accumulated length of the kth DNNmk = min( D ( mk , m j )) , j ∈ [ 0,2], k ≠ j. (6)
cluster. ρk and θk are the averaged distance value and angle
value of kth cluster respectively. They are calculated as follows: The same operations are applied on each principal line tk in
N (2) test image. DNNtk is calculated as the feature value of each
Lk = ∑ l bi
i =1 principal line in test image as follows:
where N is the number of bins in kth cluster; lbi is the length of D(t k , t j ) = ( ρtk − ρ t j )2 + (θ tk − θ t j ) 2 (7)
th th
i bin in k cluster. DNNt k = min( D (t k , t j )) , j ∈ [0,2], k ≠ j. (8)
1 N (3)
ρk = ∑ (lbi × ρbi )
Lk i =1 A 2-dimensional matrix (T[ρ, θ]) is employed to
conglomerate the local structures of principal lines of one
where, the distance to origin of ith bin in kth cluster is ρb . image and works as the framework for indexing. One pair-wise
i
geometric attribute relative to each principal line and its nearest

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neighbour is computed to represent its local structure. For non- palmprint images with similar principal lines can be impostors
principal line grid in this matrix, the attribute value DNN ρθ is if only global and principal line information is considered.
However, if we also look into the local information of each
set to MAX. MDNN ρθ and TD NN ρθ are the matrixes for mode line, such as position and orientation information, we can
distinguish the impostor from genuine. Further fine-level
image and test image respectively. With T[ρ, θ], one can matching that uses the current Top 15 match results can
perform image matching by intersecting the matrixes of model enhance the accuracy, at the same time, lower down the time
image and test image. complexity compared to fine-matching without the coarse-level
matching.
dist( principal) = ∑L mρθ
ρ∈[1,16], θ∈[1, 9 ]
(MDNNρθ − TDNNρθ ) (9)
1) Hausdorff Distance
Named after Felix Hausdorff (1868-1942), Hausdorff
4) Result of coarse-level matching Distance (HD) is the “maximum distance of a set to the nearest
The coarse-level distance between two images is defined as point in the other set” as
follows: (11)
h ( A , B ) = max  min {d ( a , b ) } }
a ∈ A  b∈ B
D ( m, t ) = dist ( global ) + dist ( principal ) (10)
where a and b are points of sets A and B respectively, and d(a,
Because HT works by accumulating a large number of b) is any metric between these points. It should be noted that
HD is oriented (we could say asymmetric as well), which
votes, it is relatively insensitive to small vote fluctuation
caused by noise and occlusion. Take the curve in Fig. 3 as means that most of the times h(A, B) is not equal to h(B, A). A
more general definition of HD would be:
example, even under poor segmentation and all the line
segments are broken, it will not affect the final result H ( A , B ) = max {h ( A , B ), h(B , A) } (12)
significantly. The matching algorithm is implemented with
Microsoft VC++ and works on a NEC (CPU 3GHZ, RAM which defines the HD between A and B, while eq.11 computes
1GB) personal computer with Windows XP. This scheme can HD from A to B (also called directed HD). HD is one of the
process 600 images using 12.3s only and achieve 71% commonly used methods in image processing and matching
accuracy for top 1 match and 100% accuracy for top 15 applications. It measures two images’ dissimilarity without
matches, as shown in Fig. 6. We have tried different bin explicit point correspondence [12].
numbers for ρ-θ space. 16x9 bins gives the optimal result.
a) Line segment Hausdorff Distance (LHD)
The original HD is a distance defined between two sets of
1 points. LHD extends the concept to two sets of line segments.
Applying the concept on the LEM of an image, each line set
0.9 captures the complete feature vector set of one image. Hence,
Identification accuracy

we can measure two images’ dissimilarity based on line
16x9 bins
features using LHD. The LHD has been adopted in a number
0.8 4x4 bins of applications, such as logo recognition [17].
8x8 bins LHD is built on the distance, d(m,t), between two line
0.7
32x8 bins segments m and t. d(m,t) plays the same role as d(a,b) in
10x10 bins equation (1). It makes uses of the added attributes of line
0.6 orientation and line point association to measure the
20x20bins dissimilarity between two line segments. LHD is defined as
0.5 follows:
d (m, t ) = [d θ ( m, t ) d || ( m, t ) d ⊥ (m, t )] (13)
T

0.4
where, m is one of the line segments of the Model line set, M; t
1

4

7
10

13

is one of the line segment of the Test line sets, T. dθ (m, t ) is the
Top match
angle distance between m and t, which is represented by
f (θ ( m, t )). θ ( m, t ) is the smallest intersecting angle between m
Figure 6. Identification accuracy of Coarse-matching
and t. f() is a non-linear monotonic penalty function to map an
angle to a penalty value. A weight wθ which was determined
B. The second stage: fine-level matching
by a training process was needed for f() to normalize with
respect to d||(m,t) and d⊥(m,t). d||(m,t) is the parallel
After coarse-level matching, only 71% of the input images displacement, which is defined as the minimum displacement
can be matched to genuine if only first match is considered. A to align either the left end points or the right end points of m
careful examination of failed examples reveals that the

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and t. d⊥(m,t) is the perpendicular distance between two line segment. The longer the line segment, the more significantly it
segments. dθ (m, t ) was later modified in [17] as can affect the final dissimilarity. Finally, the degree of
dissimilarity between the two sets of line segments is:
dθ ' (m, t ) = min( m , t ) × sin(θ (m, t )). (14)
H s (M , T ) = average (h s (M , T ), h s (T , M )) (17)
to remove the weight wθ . The term
“ min( m , t ) × sin(θ (m, t )) ” transforms the angular difference 2) Deepest descent
The Line Edge Map (LEM) feature is extracted from
into a Euclidean distance. This measurement works well as Region Of Interest (ROI). For this reason, it is important to fix
long as the lengths of the lines do not vary significantly. Or the ROI to be in the same position in different palm images to
else, the incorrect result will be generated. One sample is ensure the stability of the extracted line features. It also has
shown in Fig. 8. Fig. 8(a) shows a line t in test image. The significant influence on the accuracy of identification [18].
matched lines in genuine model and impostor model are shown
in 8(b) and 8(c) respectively. Between these two model lines, Although the locations of the palms are fixed by the pegs,
they have the same perpendicular distance to line t, which is 17 not all the users can follow the instruction accurately. The
pixels. Parallel distance is not calculated in this situation in alignment is usually not accurate. Hence, not all the ROIs will
[17]. θ (m1 , t ) And θ (m2 , t ) are 20 degree and 80 degree always be located in the same position in different palm images
[9]. If the input image happens to match an intruder’s palm
respectively. From human vision, line m1 is more similar to line
better than the genuine due to rotation or shifting, this will
t than line m2.
unfortunately result in higher error rate.
The natural idea is that the effect of ROI displacements in
different image can be reduced to a more acceptable degree
after rotation and shifting. Identification accuracy can be
enhanced if we can find the close-to-optimal alignment
between the model and input images. However, the exhaustive
computation complexity is too high to be applicable to get the
(a) (b) (c)
best transformation. In our system, the ROI is 160x160. In this
paper, we employ an efficient method, the deepest descent, to
Figure 7. Failed sample of d ' (m, t ) (a) Line t (b) line m1 (genuine) (c) line
θ
approximate the optimal transformation of rotation and shifting
m2 (impostor) (d) superimposed (a) (b) and (c) to achieve near optimal accuracy with minimal computation
complexity.
However, incorrect result, d(m1,t) =51.2 > d(m2, t), =26.85
Briefly, the algorithm works as follows. It starts from an
is generated using dθ ' (m, t ) . This problem can be solved if the
arbitrary initial seeding state. In our work, it is the original
following proposed equation is used. state. First, the 20 states with rotating degrees from -10 to 10
(15) are checked to find the best rotation. The state with the smallest
dθ ' ' (m, t ) = ( width ÷ d displace ( m, t )) × tan(θ (m, t )). distance becomes the new seeding state. Next, the eight
Where, width is the width of the image, which is 160 for the neighbouring states of the seeding state are calculated and the
images in our database. d displace (m, t ) = d ⊥ (m, t ) 2 + d|| (m, t ) 2 algorithm moves into one which gives the maximum decrease
represents the position distance of two lines. When human in the distance over all eight neighbour states. The moved-in-
beings judge the dissimilarity between two line segments using neighbour state is used as a new seeding state and the above
position and orientation information, orientation information is procedure is repeated until the iteration converges. The
insignificant if two line segments are far away from each other. criterion of convergence is that the distance between input
image and the shifted model image cannot be improved any
That is, dθ ' ' (m, t ) is inversely proportional to ddisplace (m, t ) . width
more by moving into any of the eight neighbours. In this way,
is used to normalize different distance, at the same time, let the the optimal alignment can be found and the corresponding
calculation of dθ ' ' (m, t ) become scale invariant. Moreover, distance can be easily determined.
Tangent function is used in the new formula. This function can
enforce the penalty to big angle difference because the value IV. EXPERIMENT RESULTS
rises exponentially after 45 degree. Calculated using Eq.15,
Correct result, d(m1,t)=19.27 < d(m2, t)= 52.35 is achieved.
A series of experiments were carried out using the
The implementation of palmprint matching will employ the palmprint database collected by the Biometric Research Centre
new formulation. The directed LHD (hs) between two sets of of Hong Kong Polytechnic University from 100 individuals (6
line segments M and T is defined as follow: images for each person) [19].

h s (M , T )= 1 (16) An identification system examines whether the user is one
∑ l m × min d (m , t )
∑ lm m∈M
t∈T of enrolled candidates. In our experiment, 3 images are
m∈M
randomly chosen from one person as the model images and the
where lm is the length of line segment m. The length rest three are used as test images for identification. Thus, a
information is used to define the weight of corresponding line palmprint database of 100 classes was created. During the
experiments, the LEM feature of each image was extracted and

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hierarchical matching was used. The matching result and • To consider more local information to enhance the
comparisons are tabulated in Table 1. An average recognition accuracy further.
rate 95%, 91%, and 98% were achieved by the technique
proposed in [3], [2] and [1] respectively. The experiment
results demonstrate that the hierarchical matching method has REFERENCES
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