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**landmark derived feature vectors
**

Krista F. Kleinberg

a,

*, J. Paul Siebert

b

a

Forensic Medicine and Science, Joseph Black Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK

b

Department of Computing Science, Sir Alwyn Williams Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK

1. Introduction

As a result of the wide deployment of surveillance cameras,

there is both opportunity and motivation, given the amount of

visual material being collected digitally, to identify suspects from

CCTV. Although rapidly improving in terms of spatial resolution,

the majority of video surveillance equipment does not produce

images of sufﬁcient quality needed to provide identiﬁcations when

other more conclusive evidence, such as DNA or ﬁngerprints, is not

available. It is in these kinds of cases that anthropometry may have

the potential to provide a useful identiﬁcation technique.

Surveillance video can be important supportive evidence because

it may show a crime being committed, although, it is not always

easy to recognise, and therefore convict, a criminal caught on CCTV.

Video surveillance can be more reliable than eyewitness testimony

because the story told is always consistent and also corroborates

what the eyewitness reported [1]. However, a more comprehen-

sive analysis is necessary because even when facial video images

are of sufﬁcient quality, it is possible that two people may look

similar to each other in this medium.

The roles of anthropometry and forensic science have inter-

twined beginning with Bertillon in the 1800s [2,3] and anthro-

pometry was one of the identiﬁcation methods used in [4–6].

Although more sophisticated vision based methods of image

comparison are being developed [7,8], it remains to be seen what

can be achieved by utilizing ratios between key facial landmarks on

single 2D images. Even if reliable automatic methods for face

image comparison can be developed, the need for manual

intervention in terms of landmark placement are likely to be

required where low-quality images have to be analysed, such as

generated by many currently installed CCTV systems. In contrast to

comparing two images, anthropometric proportions from the face

and body of live suspects were compared against 2D images and

was one of the identiﬁcation methods resulting in convictions in

two out of three cases in Halberstein’s 2001 paper [9]. One of the

fundamental problems with comparing 2D images is facial pose.

Forensic Science International 219 (2012) 248–258

A R T I C L E I N F O

Article history:

Received 6 July 2011

Received in revised form 22 November 2011

Accepted 4 January 2012

Available online 24 January 2012

Keywords:

Facial identiﬁcation

Anthropometry

Image comparison

Face database

A B S T R A C T

An abundunce of surveillance cameras highlights the necessity of identifying individuals recorded.

Images captured are often unintelligible and are unable to provide irrefutable identiﬁcations by sight,

and therefore a more systematic method for identiﬁcation is required to address this problem. An

existing database of video and photograhic images was examined, which had previously been used in a

psychological research project; material consisted of 80 video (Sample 1) and 119 photograhic (Sample

2) images, though taken with different cameras. A set of 38 anthropometric landmarks were placed by

hand capturing 59 ratios of inter-landmark distances to conduct within sample and between sample

comparisons using normalised correlation calculations; mean absolute value between ratios, Euclidean

distance and Cosine u distance between ratios. The statistics of the two samples were examined to

determine which calculation best ascertained if there were any detectable correlation differences

between faces that fall under the same conditions. A comparison of each face in Sample 1 was then

compared against the database of faces in Sample 2. We present pilot results showing that the Cosine u

distance equation using Z-normalised values achieved the largest separation between True Positive and

True Negative faces. Having applied the Cosine u distance equation we were then able to determine that

if a match value returned is greater than 0.7, it is likely that the best match will be a True Positive

allowing a decrease of database images to be veriﬁed by a human. However, a much larger sample of

images requires to be tested to verify these outcomes.

ß 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

* Corresponding author. Present address: PEACH Unit, University of Glasgow,

Queen Mother’s Hospital, 8th Floor – Tower Block, Dalnair Street, Glasgow G3 8SJ,

UK. Tel.: +44 141 201 1988; fax: +44 141 201 6943.

E-mail addresses: Krista.Kleinberg@glasgow.ac.uk, kristakleinberg@yahoo.com

(K.F. Kleinberg), Paul.Siebert@glasgow.ac.uk (J.P. Siebert).

Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect

Forensic Science International

j ou r nal h o mepage: w ww. el sevi er . co m/ l oc at e/ f o r sc i i nt

0379-0738/$ – see front matter ß 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2012.01.014

Attempts to rectify this in facial recognition pose invariant

systems described in [10,11] reported greater recognition rates

than when used without the pose transformations. Using soft

biometric traits was shown to be beneﬁcial in improving

recognition accuracy when combined with a commercial based

face matching program [12].

Three questions should be asked of a comparison method; is it

possible to carry out the comparison objectively, is it possible to

avoid manual input, and is it applicable to checking large

databases? An identiﬁcation made based on 2D images will be

more decisive if there is a way to quantify the comparison, rather

than if the identiﬁcation is based solely on a subjective analysis, as

the result is a comparison that is objective with minimal bias. Once

quantiﬁcation of a comparison is achieved, the process should be

automated. An automated process would decrease the error from

involving many different operators in the comparison process and

would allow large databases to be checked quickly. As a face search

could potentially be extended to full populations by reviewing

internationalised databases, i.e. Interpol [13], the need for

automation is high. According to The Ministry of Justice Statistics

(UK) bulletin, the reoffending rate for criminals in England and

Wales in 2006 was 146.1 offences per 100 offenders [14]. Although

this is a decrease of 22.9% from 2000, the numbers indicate there is

justiﬁcation for a database of convicted criminal images that could

be quickly automated and checked.

We document an investigation into the comparison of

anthropometric ratios of facial landmark pairs manually located

on 2D images. The constraints in this study are that we consider

best-case scenario situations as a bench mark given that scenarios

in the ﬁeld, by deﬁnition, cannot be as benign. The subject matter is

based on the analysis of comparing high quality full-face frontal

video and photographic images of individuals of a similar ethnic

background with neutral expressions.

This investigation expanded previous research carried out by

Kleinberg, Vanezis and Burton [15] and was conducted to test the

hypothesis: ‘‘Using a comparison of anthropometric facial ratios, it

is possible to discriminate between individuals of two samples.’’

The objective of this study was to derive measurements between

speciﬁc landmarks on the face in both print and video media and

incorporate them into a feature vector to use in statistical analysis

to determine if identiﬁcations of an individual can be made based

on these measurements. Knowledge of the type of information

gathered in this study may help in future to rank potential suspects

for human identiﬁcation veriﬁcation. However, in order to

establish that two faces were the same and use this identiﬁcation

method to identify positively rather than eliminate suspects, it

would be necessary to show that the probability of a false match in

the rest of the population at random was of an acceptably low

probability [16].

To investigate the hypothesis in this study, we seek to address

the following questions:

Of the proposed images, can similar faces be separated from

dissimilar faces within a single sample using vector compar-

isons?

How distinguishable are individual faces in the samples? Is it

possible to distinguish true positive faces from true negative

faces using vector comparisons where the statistics from two

samples are known?

Using a small sample of re-landmarked images, how signiﬁ-

cant is the error contribution in re-landmarked images and

what is the operator induced measurement spread under ideal

conditions?

Given a speciﬁc example and set of comparisons with the

database, what constitutes a manageable subsample, worthy of

further manual veriﬁcation?

2. Materials

A total of 199 images of Caucasian male police volunteers were available which

had been used previously in research conducted by Bruce et al. [17]. The 199 images

comprised 80 different video still faces (Sample 1) and 119 different photographic

faces (Sample 2). According to Bruce et al. [17], ‘‘The image quality on the videos

was high-equivalent to what would be produced by a good amateur photographer

trying to reveal a good likeness of someone on a home videotape.’’ The photographic

images in Sample 2 included the same 80 faces depicted in the video cohort, and an

additional 39 new faces not included as video stills. The photographs were of

policemen, both retired and presently working and except for photographs, which

have already been published elsewhere are, for this reason, unable to be exhibited

in this paper. However, an example of each type of image is provided in Fig. 1. Both

sets of images, taken on the same day, were displayed from the frontal viewpoint,

showing features from the neck up, in what appeared to be the format of police

identiﬁcation photographs. In this study the identity of the subjects in the video

images was known and could be cross referenced with the corresponding

photographic images. This means that identiﬁcations made on the basis of facial

anthropometry could be designated as true or false. One positive feature of these

video images was that because they were recorded on the same day as the

photographs, the study images did not have any of the possible facial changes which

can occur due to time factors such as weight loss/gain, increase in age or presence of

facial hair.

3. Methodology

Given a set of landmarks there is a need to be able to quantify the landmarks

numerically such that they can be used to compare faces. Ideally, the measure

should be invariant to in-plane translations and rotations and be tolerant to a

degree of out-of-plane rotation in order to accommodate the variability inherent

when posing a subject for full frontal image capture. Thirty-eight landmarks (Table

1), ten unilateral and 14 bilateral, were chosen for inclusion in the anthropometric

study and are shown in Fig. 2. Careful consideration was given to the selection of

landmarks that were used is this study. Anthropometric research by Farkas [18],

Purkait [19], Fieller [20], Evison [21], and facial recognition research by Craw et al.

[22] and Okada et al. [23] were consulted when choosing the landmarks that were

included in the present study. When choosing a landmark it was important that it

was one that could be placed consistently. It had to be a point where an operator

performing the comparison would be able to locate it in the same place within an

acceptable error. According to Fieller [20], the criteria used to determine a

successful/reliable landmark are: observer knowledge, consistency of landmark

Fig. 1. High resolution video image (a) and selection of ten database photographs (b).

K.F. Kleinberg, J.P. Siebert / Forensic Science International 219 (2012) 248–258 249

placement, discriminatory power, and landmark visible in majority of cases.

Excluded landmarks were eliminated on the basis of their inability to be located on

photographs.

Although the number of possible linear measurements increases combinatorially

with the number of landmarks, not all are reliable or pertinent to the research

undertaken for this study. A total of 73 linear measurements (21 unilateral, 26

bilateral) were chosen for this study. The majority of these were chosen by

consulting the literature [18,22,24]. Two of these measurements used in a previous

study [25], ex-n and ex-sto, were chosen because they utilise landmarks that were

considered to be less affected by facial expression than others and also because they

would be visible even if the subject was wearing a hat. Three bilateral

measurements were unique to the present study.

From these landmarks and linear measurements, a total of 59 ratios (also

unilateral and bilateral) were selected for comparison of images (Table 2). The

linear measurements that make up the ratios are shown in Fig. 3. A ratio was

derived by dividing the smaller linear measurement (numerator) by the larger

linear measurement (denominator). The ratios were chosen to achieve a balance of

the horizontal and vertical regions of the face. Intuitively, it is expected that longer

lines between landmarks located on different sections of the face would make a

more reliable proportion than two short lines in the same section of the face. This is

because small variations in landmark placement making up short lines would result

in large changes in proportions, which may not accurately portray true variations

between individuals. The ratios utilised in this research were deliberately chosen to

include linear measurements between landmarks in different sections of the face

and others that covered a small section of the face, such as the length vs. the width

of the eye. As it is more common to use absolute measurements in anthropometric

comparisons [18,19,26,27] rather than ratios, there was less guidance with respect

to which ratios would be more reliable or more relevant than others in the present

study. Halberstein used a combination of up to twelve face and body ratios when

comparing a photograph to a live subject, and three of these ratios were used [9].

These ratios were ear length/facial height (sa-sba/n-gn), nasal height/ear length (n-

sn/sa-sba) and nasal width/nasal height (al-al/n-sn). The remainder of the ratios

that were used by Halberstein were not incorporated into this research because

they either included facial landmarks that were not chosen for the present study or

Table 1

Landmarks and their deﬁnitions used in this study [18,24].

1. Glabella (g): the most prominent midline point between the eyebrows.

2. Nasion (n): the point in the midline of both the nasal root and the

nasofrontal suture. This point is always above the line that connects the

two inner canthi. A canthus is the angle at either end of the ﬁssure

between the eyelids.

3. Exocanthion (ex): the point at the outer commissure of the eye ﬁssure. A

commissure is the site of union of corresponding parts and a ﬁssure is any

cleft or groove, in this case of the eye [bilateral].

4. Endocanthion (en): the point at the inner commissure of the eye ﬁssure

[bilateral].

5. Palpebrale superius (ps): highest point in the midportion of the free

margin of each upper eyelid. The free margin portion of the eyelid is the

unattached edge [bilateral].

6. Palpebrale inferius (pi): the lowest point in the midportion of the free

margin of each lower eyelid [bilateral].

7. Orbitale (or): the lowest point on the margin of the orbit. The orbit is the

bony cavity that contains the eyeball [bilateral].

8. Superaurle (sa): the highest point of the free margin of the auricle. The

auricle is the portion of the external ear that is not contained within the

head [bilateral].

9. Subaurale (sba): the lowest point on the free margin of the ear lobe

[bilateral].

10. Postaurale (pa): the most posterior point on the free margin of the ear

helix. The helix refers to the coiled structure of the ear. [bilateral].

11. Otobasion inferius (obi): the lowest point of attachment of the external

ear to the head [bilateral].

12. Alare (al): the most lateral point on each nostril contour [bilateral].

13. Subnasale (sn): the midpoint of the angle at the columella (ﬂeshy, lower

margin) base where the lower border of the nasal septum and the surface

of the upper lip meet.

14. Pronasale (prn): the most protruded point of the nasal tip.

15. Subalare (sbal): the point on the lower margin of the base of the nasal

ala where the ala disappears into the upper lip skin [bilateral].

16. Stomion (sto): the imaginary point at the crossing of the vertical facial

midline and the horizontal labial (lip) ﬁssure between gently closed lips,

with teeth shut in the natural position.

17. Crista philtri landmark (cph): the point on the elevated margin of the

philtrum just above the vermilion line. The philtrum is the vertical

groove in the median portion of the upper lip and vermilion refers to the

exposed

red portion of the upper or lower lip [bilateral].

18. Cheilion (ch): the point located at each labial commissure [bilateral].

19. Labiale inferius (li): the midpoint of the vermilion border of the lower lip.

20. Labiale superius (ls): the midpoint of the vermilion border of the upper

lip.

21. Gonion (go): the most lateral point at the angle of the mandible. The

mandible is the bone of the lower jaw [bilateral].

22. Sublabiale (sl): determines the lower border of the lower lip or the upper

border of the chin.

23. Pogonion (pg): the most anterior midpoint of the chin.

24. Gnathion (gn): the lowest point in the midline on the lower border of the

chin.

Fig. 2. Facial landmarks and their location.

Table 2

Ratios used in this study.

go-go/n-gn sn-sto/sto-sl sn-gn/n-sto li-sl/sn-ls

n-prn/g-pg sbal-sn/sn-prn [bilateral] gn-go/n-gn [bilateral] sl-gn/sto-gn

al-al/ex-ex ex-go/go-go [bilateral] al-al/n-sn n-sn/n-sto

sa-sba/n-gn [bilateral] n-gn/n-sto n-sn/sa-sba [bilateral] en-al/ex-ch [bilateral]

ex-ex/go-go obi-ch/g-sa [bilateral] ex-n/ex-sto [bilateral] sbal-ls/n-al [bilateral]

ex-n/n-sto [bilateral] pi-al/sa-ex [bilateral] ex-sto/n-sto [bilateral] ex-obi/ex-ch [bilateral]

en-ex/ps-pi [bilateral] ex-al/ch-gn [bilateral] en-en/ex-ex ch-ls/n-prn [bilateral]

pi-or/en-ex [bilateral] al-ls/ch-gn [bilateral] sa-sba/pa-obi [bilateral] ch-li/ex-ch [bilateral]

cph-cph/sn-ls ex-sto/rt ex-lt ch [bilateral] ls-sto/ch-ch sn-gn/ex-gn [bilateral]

sto-li/ch-ch

K.F. Kleinberg, J.P. Siebert / Forensic Science International 219 (2012) 248–258 250

because they were body ratios, such as shoulder width, leg or shoe lengths. Two

ratios (n-sn/n-sto, n-gn/n-sto) were used by Catterick for his research [28]. The

remainder of the ratios chosen were unique to this study. In order to continue with a

best case scenario situation, one volunteer, with previous experience in placing

landmarks on 2D images, placed the 38 landmarks on all 199 images using the

measurement programme produced in-house, Facial Identiﬁcation Centre Version

0.32

ß

Forensic Medicine and Science Glasgow University.

The group of 59 ratios is treated as a 59 dimensional vector and this has been

evaluated as a means of comparing all faces. In this study, the feature vector is the

series of 59 ratios derived from chosen linear measurements between facial

landmarks. The alternative for comparing ratios between landmarks is to compare

the raw distances between the landmarks. Comparing raw distances can be

accomplished using the Procrustes [29] alignment techniques, and although

outside of the scope of the current project, may be used in future studies. The

advantage of using ratios is that they are both scale and rotation invariant and also

to a slight degree auto-corrective (in terms of errors added during landmarking). In

addition, ratios exhibit a degree of invariance to the effects of out-of-plane rotations

for small angles (when the effects of such rotations are sufﬁciently small to

approximate a 2D afﬁne transformation on the imaging plane).

Three equations were used to test the comparison of a feature vector from one

sample against another; mean absolute difference, Euclidean distance and Cosine u

distance. The ﬁrst two equations compare the length of the difference vector and

the third equation compares the angle between the vectors. The three equations are

as follows:

3.1. The mean absolute difference between ratio vectors

Eq. (1) determines the distance that separates one face from another by taking

the absolute value of one face ratio vector subtracted from the same ratio of a

second face. This is carried out for each ratio element in the feature vector. The

summation of this feature vector is then divided by the total number of elements

(59 ratios in this case). A difference of 0 between two faces establishes that those

two faces have identical facial ratio vectors. The smaller the difference in facial

ratios is indicative of a smaller difference between faces. A disadvantage of using

this equation is that the maximum difference between faces is not bounded:

Mean abs diff ¼

X

n¼N

n¼1

F

1

ðnÞ À F

2

ðnÞ j j

N

(1)

3.2. The Euclidean distance between ratios

The Euclidean distance (Eq. (2)) also measures the distance between two multi-

dimensional vectors. This is the square root of the sum of the squares of the

elements, in this case ratios. A difference of 0 between two faces establishes that

those two faces have identical facial ratio vectors. The smaller the difference in

facial ratios is indicative of a smaller difference between faces. A disadvantage of

using this equation is that the maximum difference between faces is not bounded:

Euclidean distance ¼

ﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

X

n¼N

n¼1

F

1

ðnÞ À F

2

ðnÞ ð Þ

2

v

u

u

t

(2)

3.3. The Cosine u distance

The Cosine u distance equation (Eq. (3)) is a similarity measurement and is used

to measure the angle between two vectors. A cosine difference of 1.0 between two

faces establishes that those two faces have identical vectors of facial ratios. An

advantage of using this equation is that the range of values is bound from À1.0 to

+1.0 and useful comparisons are ranged from zero to one. A difference of zero is

indicative of a face that shows no correlation whereas a result of 0.5 is achieved by

random chance. Any negative result shows the face comparison produces an inverse

correlation:

Cos u ¼

X

n¼N

n¼1

F

1

ðnÞ Ã F

2

ðnÞ

F

1

k k F

2

k k

(3)

A comparison between two faces was deemed a true positive match (TP) if the

match was a correct match between the video image and photograph of the same

subject. A true negative match (TN) was one that excludes the faces and which was a

correct exclusion because it involved a video image and a photograph of two

different subjects. A false positive match (FP) was one which was an incorrect match

between a video image and a photograph of two different subjects and a false

negative match (FN) was one which is excluded but which was an incorrect

exclusion because it involved the video image and photograph of the same subject.

To answer the questions laid forth in Section 1, the three equations were applied

in the following four scenarios to test the comparison of Sample 1 faces to Sample 2

faces; within sample comparisons, between sample comparisons, error in landmark

placement, and the potential sample of photographs subject to manual veriﬁcation.

4. Results

4.1. Within sample comparisons

To test if similar faces were separable from dissimilar faces

within a single sample the equations were applied so that every face

in a single sample was compared to itself and everyother face within

this sample. Each sample contained only one image of each face and

for this reason all that could be determined was the true negativity of

this collection of different faces. Therefore, no estimate of the degree

to which two same faces (true positives) would match when

captured at different times could be made from this data. The same

tests were carried out on Sample 1 (video) and then separately on

Sample 2 (photographs). Testing all combinations of pairs of faces

within each sample was important because it compared faces

acquired under the same capture conditions, allowing the tests to

ascertain if it were possible to discriminate between different (true

negative) faces. Therefore, in this experiment the primary source of

variability between faces should be attributable to differences in the

measured facial landmark ratios, i.e. generated by genuine face

shape differences, whilst the statistics of the remaining sources of

variability remain constant; same media, same operator placing

landmarks and same facial pose.

The similarity or dissimilarity between the faces in a single

sample is cross-checked by comparing the distributions of the

similarity statistics of Sample 1 to those of Sample 2. A Sample 1 to

Sample 2 cross-comparison of the statistics produced by matching

faces within their own samples can be used to in future to predict

how discriminable faces are when making comparisons between

these two samples. If both samples exhibit similar statistics, this

would be indicative that it is possible to distinguish faces between

Fig. 3. Linear measurements that created the ratios utilised in this study.

K.F. Kleinberg, J.P. Siebert / Forensic Science International 219 (2012) 248–258 251

samples because any difference between faces would be a result of

the true difference in faces rather than a result of the different

media recording each of the two samples of images. Results are

summarised in Fig. 4a–c and are illustrated by superimposing the

normal distribution curves and similarity density histograms of

the two samples. In Table 3a the standard deviation scaled

difference between the Sample 1 and Sample 2 means indicates the

difference in statistics between media, the cosine distance by far

exhibiting the greatest difference.

In order to equalise the absolute ranges of the feature vector

values in each sample and address the observed difference in the

statistics of the comparisons of Sample 1 and Sample 2, the

equations were completed using the application of Z-normalised

ratio values, illustrated in Fig. 4a–c. Each element, F(n) in the

measurement vector F is expressed by a population of measure-

ment ratios within a sample, Z-normalisation potentially enhances

range of variation (and accentuates any differences) about the ratio

mean of this sub-population of ratios, allowing small differences in

the data to become more apparent. This was accomplished by

dividing the mean subtracted element by the sample standard

deviation for the particular ratio (Eq. (4)). Z-normalisation can be

applied to all three of the equations:

Z-normalized element ¼ F

Z

ðnÞ ¼

FðnÞ À m

FðnÞ

s

FðnÞ

(4)

Therefore, by applying Z-normalisation it becomes possible to

force the distributions into a standardised range. Taking the Z-

normalised cosine distance as an example, the result of this

process, driving the means and standard deviations together and

reducing difference between the variance-scaled means is

illustrated in Table 3b.

4.2. Between sample comparisons

Results from conducting the equations were illustrated using

distribution histograms, separating TP faces from TN faces, Fig. 5a–

c. These normal histogram distribution curves of TP faces and TN

faces were superimposed to determine if it was possible to

distinguish between faces in the two groups. The amount of

overlap shows the possibility of achieving either a FP or FN face

match, also known as the rate of misclassiﬁcation. The smaller the

area, the smaller the chances of obtaining a FP or FN face match.

In the graphs, TP face matches are represented by the dotted

lines and the solid lines represent TN face matches. In order to

ensure equal numbers of faces in the two samples, the 39 faces in

Sample 2 that were not in Sample 1 were not included in this

Table 3b

Mean, standard deviation, and standard deviation scaled difference between the Sample 1 and Sample 2 means of Z-normalised: cosine distance for Sample 1 and Sample 2.

Comparison method Sample Sample mean m Sample standard deviation (SD)

m

Sample

SD

Sample

m

Sample 1

SD

Sample 1

À

m

Sample 2

SD

Sample 2

N, number of samples

Z-normalised Cos(u) 1 À0.0113 0.2460 À0.04594 0.01474 3160

Z-normalised Cos(u) 2 À0.0077 0.2468 À0.0312 7021

Table 3a

Mean, standard deviation, and standard deviation scaled difference between the Sample 1 and Sample 2 means of unnormalised: mean absolute distance (MAD), Euclidean

distance and cosine distance for Sample 1 and Sample 2.

Comparison method Sample Sample mean m Sample standard deviation (SD)

m

Sample

SD

Sample

m

Sample 1

SD

Sample 1

À

m

Sample 2

SD

Sample 2

N, number of samples

MAD 1 0.08354 0.02316 3.607 0.561 3160

MAD 2 0.08507 0.02041 4.168 7021

Euclidean distance 1 1.015 0.4121 2.463 1.042 3160

Euclidean distance 2 1.149 0.3278 3.505 7021

Cos(u) 1 0.9859 0.01314 75.03 74.955 3160

Cos(u) 2 0.9887 0.006592 149.985 7021

Fig. 4. (a–c) Summary of the conditions imposed and results achieved in the within

sample comparisons of faces. Histograms and superimposed mean and standard

deviation of unnormalised: mean absolute distance (a), Euclidean distance (b) and

cosine distance (c) within sample comparisons for Sample 1 (dotted lower line) and

Sample 2 (solid upper line).

K.F. Kleinberg, J.P. Siebert / Forensic Science International 219 (2012) 248–258 252

analysis and every face in Sample 1 was compared to every face in

Sample 2.

The mean absolute difference, the Euclidean distance and the

Cosine u distance equations (all distance measures Z-normalised)

were applied in the between sample comparisons. Superimposed

normal histogram distribution curves of TP and TN face matches

were used to illustrate the discrimination between the two groups.

In general, a slightly narrower distribution was seen for the TP

faces. This was most likely because the distribution contained only

TP matches and therefore the data should be centred on a smaller

range of values. The amount of overlap between the TP and TN face

matches correlated to the possibility of achieving either a FP or FN

face match.

Superimposing the normal curves to demonstrate the separa-

tion between TP and TN face matches, the Cosine u distance (Z-

normalised) equation produced the smallest amount of overlap

and of the three equations conducted was determined to be best

equation to test the discrimination between faces of two samples.

Examination of the superimposed curves showed approximately a

30% chance of the best match between compared faces corre-

sponding to a correct identiﬁcation. The TP distribution is very

small and difﬁcult to see on the graphs. However, it is still possible

to see the 0.7 threshold emerging for the Cosine u distance with

careful observation of Fig. 5c.

Table 4 illustrates that following Z-normalisation, the cosine

distance provides the greatest separation of TP comparisons from

the TN comparisons, based on the difference between the TP and

TN standard deviation scaled means, respectively. The conclusion

made from this investigation was that the cosine distance equation

was the best predictor of face discrimination tested thus far and

was the sole equation used to test the error in landmark placement

and to determine the sample of images from the database that

could be narrowed down for further veriﬁcation by an operator.

In pattern matching based on the cosine distance between two

unit vectors, the returned measure can be interpreted as a match

probability. Whilst a cosine distance of 1 indicates a 100%

probability of the compared vectors being the same, and 0

indicates zero probability, a distance of 0.5 indicates the 50%

‘‘chance’’ level of correlation between compared vectors. The mean

of the TP distribution barely reaches this 50% level, although this of

course indicates that approximately half of the TP comparisons will

at least exceed a chance match value. A standard deviation of

Æ2.37 about the TP distribution mean of 0.48 indicates that over

17.5% of the TP matches will exceed a 70% chance of producing a best

closest match for the database tested.

4.3. Error in landmark placement

A small inter-operator study was carried out, to assess the

inﬂuence of landmark placement conducted by multiple operators.

It has been reported that landmark placement, tested on 3D images

in a clinical setting, reveals that average operator error can vary

widely [30]. Therefore the effect of landmark placement error is

important to test because although landmark placement on images

in the two samples used in this study was conducted by a single

operator, this would not likely occur in practice.

Facial landmarks were placed on a total of six video images,

chosen at random, six times each by ﬁve different operators. One

operator had previous experience in using the equipment and

Table 4

Summary of the conditions imposed and results achieved in the between sample TP and TN face comparisons. Mean, standard deviation, and standard deviation scaled

difference between TP and TN comparisons for Z-normalised vectors: mean absolute distance, Euclidean distance and cosine distance TP and TN data sets.

Comparison method

(all Z-normalised)

Sample Sample mean m Sample standard

deviation (SD)

m

Sample

SD

Sample

m

TP

SD

TP

À

m

TN

SD

TN

N, number

of samples

MAD TP 0.7771 0.2234 3.479 0.815 80

MAD TN 1.1053 0.2574 4.294 6320

Euclidean distance TP 7.594 2.258 3.3632 0.9660 80

Euclidean distance TN 10.572 2.442 4.3292 6320

Cos(u) TP 0.4822 0.2035 2.370 2.3950 80

Cos(u) TN À0.0061 0.2389 À0.02553 6320

Fig. 5. (a–c) Summary of the conditions imposed and results achieved in the

between sample TP and TN face comparisons. Results are illustrated by the

superimposed normal histogram curves showing the amount of overlap in TP

(dotted lower line) and TN faces (solid upper line). Mean absolute distance (a),

Euclidean distance (b) and cosine distance (c).

K.F. Kleinberg, J.P. Siebert / Forensic Science International 219 (2012) 248–258 253

knowledge of the landmarks; landmark locations were studied

using the deﬁnitions provided in [18] and [24]. The remaining

operators had no experience in using the equipment and no

previous knowledge of anthropometric landmarks. The inexperi-

enced operators were given a list of landmark deﬁnitions (Table 1)

adapted from the literature [18,24] as well as a single photocopy of

an enlarged male face (A4 sized), front facing, with previously

placed landmarks to use as a guide. The same equipment was used

by all operators and each operator conducted their landmark

placement of images in a single day. Using the Cosine u distance

equation, comparisons of re-landmarked images were analysed

ﬁrst from the single experienced operator and second, from all

operators (Fig. 6a and b).

The Cosine u distance (Z-normalised) equation was used to

compare the re-landmarked images because, when applied in the

comparison of faces between samples, it was found to be the

equation in which the statistics of the TP and TN populations were

the most separated. Each face in the subset sample was compared

to every other face in the subset sample and resulting data was

illustrated as superimposed normal histogram curves of TP and TN

face matches. It was hypothesised that conducting an inter-

operator test, using high resolution research material, but

completed by inexperienced operators, would produce a greater

amount of variation than from an experienced operator and this

hypothesis was tested and found to hold.

The effect that inexperienced operators had on the separation

rate of TP and TN faces was compared to that of an experienced

operator and is summarised in Fig. 6a and b and Table 5. Compared

to that of the experienced operator, the effect of landmark

placement by inexperienced operators can clearly be seen in the

separation rates of TP and TN face matches: the mean for TP

comparisons collapses from 0.8 for the experienced operator to

0.44 for the mix of experienced and in-experienced operators.

The TP vs. TN standard deviation scaled means separation is more

than double for the experienced operator compared to that of the

mix of operators. A similar observation can be made by inspecting

the superimposed histograms for the TP and TN comparisons for

the experienced operator vs. the mix of experienced and

inexperienced operators. Although a bimodal result is generated

by the experienced operator for both TP and TN, a much greater

separation of the TP–TN distributions is observed. However, for all

operators a typical averaged picture emerges and the effect of the

‘‘expert’’ can be seen as a small additional bump at the top of the TP

distribution.

The most important point witnessed in Fig. 6a and b was to

observe the strong effect that the experienced operator had in

creating a larger separation of TP and TN face matches. As multiple

experienced operators were not tested, it cannot be stated that this

difference in separation rates between the experienced operator

and all operators was due to the experience of the operators or

instead, the effect that will naturally occur with multiple

operators. This could be tested by conducting a study using a

pool of experienced operators. A further study analysing the

distribution achieved from the re-landmarked images of each

operator after applying the Cosine u distance (Z-normalised)

equation could determine if any of the inexperienced operators

also achieved the same strong separation rate as the experienced

operator. An inexperienced operator producing a similar degree of

separation to the experienced operator would signify that the large

separation rate produced from all operators was caused by the

inclusion of multiple operators rather than their experience.

However, from the literature in [31], it can be predicted that the

spread from a single inexperienced operator would be larger than

an experienced operator.

4.4. Potential sample of photographs subject to manual veriﬁcation

The amount of overlap between the distributions of TP and TN

faces illustrates an approximation of the misclassiﬁcation rate (see

Fig. 5a–c). However, given the task of comparing a suspect’s image

to a large database of identity photographs, the ability to decrease

the number of possible face matches could potentially save

signiﬁcant numbers of investigation hours. This smaller sample of

suspect photographs could then be more closely scrutinised by an

expert. For this analysis, each face in Sample 1 was compared to

Fig. 6. (a and b) Superimposed normal curve histograms illustrating TP (dotted

lower line) and TN (solid upper line) face comparisons of the Cosine u (Z-

normalised) distance equations in six re-landmarked images from Sample 1 using

one experienced operator (a) and multiple operators (b).

Table 5

Mean, standard deviation, and standard deviation scaled difference between TP and TN comparisons in landmark placement error study: mean absolute distance, Euclidean

distance and cosine distance for TP and TN data sets illustrating TP and TN face comparisons in six re-landmarked images from Sample 1 using one experienced operator and

multiple operators.

Comparison method: cosine distance (all Z-normalised) Sample Sample mean m Sample standard

deviation (SD)

m

Sample

SD

Sample

m

TP

SD

TP

À

m

TN

SD

TN

N, number

of samples

One experienced operator TP 0.8029 0.1489 5.392 5.8224 90

One experienced operator TN À0.1666 0.3871 À0.4304 540

Multiple operators: experienced and inexperienced TP 0.4409 0.2655 1.6606 2.01351 2610

Multiple operators: experienced and inexperienced TN À0.08657 0.2453 À0.3529 13,500

K.F. Kleinberg, J.P. Siebert / Forensic Science International 219 (2012) 248–258 254

each face in Sample 2 for a total of 80 comparisons. The Cosine u (Z-

normalised) distance equation was used and the resulting values

were placed in descending order, noting the rank of the TP. The best

match was deﬁned as the match value that returned a Cosine u

value that was highest or closest to 1.0. This was used to determine

within a conﬁdence range given a best match value how many

additional faces in the database would need to be veriﬁed before

the true positive match was found.

Best match values were placed in intervals of 0.1. The mean

rank of the TP, SD, and 2SD conﬁdence interval for each match

interval was found and results shown in Table 6. In this instance

the conﬁdence interval says that for within a given conﬁdence

range, how many database images should be looked at in total.

Results in Table 6 indicate that given match values of 0.7 the best

match from the database is also likely to be the TP face. This result

is consistent with the observed degree of overlap between the TP

and TN distributions shown in Fig 5. A match threshold of 0.7 is not

an unreasonably high value to set, given that a distance of 0.5

indicates the 50% ‘‘chance’’ level of correlation between compared

vectors. A larger sample of images should be tested to determine if

results consistent with those presented here are produced.

5. Discussion

Using high resolution photographic research material, the

object of the study was to assess if a facial anthropometric feature

vector could be utilised to distinguish between individuals of a

similar age group, ancestry and sex. Given a database of subjects,

knowledge of the type of information gathered in this study may

help in future to narrow down the number of possible suspects in

an investigation. The technique presented here entailed analysing

vector comparisons to differentiate between images of two

samples. The feature vector was utilised in three types of equations

testing the differences between faces in the samples. Normal-

isation was applied to the ratio values as a way to equalise the

feature vector values in each sample and account (to some degree)

for the statistics that different camera parameters would produce.

Z-normalisation enhances any differences between means and

makes the interpretation of the data more straightforward

allowing small differences in the data can to be more simply

seen. We found that the face matching technology investigated in

this study can assist in a database search; however, it does not

provide an unequivocal means of conﬁrming facial identiﬁcations

suitable to use in court. Therefore, the focus of future work should

concentrate on the potential for this approach to extract facial

information improving the search of databases and leaving

humans as the ultimate authenticator.

The ﬁrst step to answering the objectives laid forth in the

introduction was to evaluate each sample of images to determine if

once the equations were applied, any differences could be seen

between the two samples. Testing faces against those found in the

same sample is important because it allows the equations to

ascertain if there are any differences between faces which fall

under the same conditions. This means that other than the

possibility of slight changes in facial expression the facial ratios

will be the only changeable variable between faces as all other

variables remain constant; same media, same operator placing

landmarks and same facial pose.

Once samples were looked at individually, a between sample

comparison was conducted to determine how distinguishable the

faces were in the two samples. Once the respective equations were

conducted, superimposed normal histogram distribution curves of

true positive faces and true negative faces were used to illustrate

the discrimination of the two groups. In general, a narrower

distribution was seen for the true positive faces. This was because

as the distribution contained only true positive matches, the data

should be centred on a smaller range of values. The amount of

overlap correlated to the possibility of achieving either a false

positive or false negative face match.

Although other research used the squared Euclidean distance to

measure the likeness between pairs of faces [32], we found by

superimposing the normal curves to demonstrate the separation

between true positive and true negative faces, the Cosine u

distance (Z-normalised) equation produced the least amount of

overlap between true positive faces and true negative faces when

statistics of the two samples were known. The match values of true

negative faces in the superimposed histogram normal curves begin

to trail off at 0.7, indicating that although it is still possible to

achieve a true negative identiﬁcation above this value, it is likely

that a returned match score of below 0.7 will result in a true

negative face after closer examination. Although this result

occurred in this study, it may not be replicated with a larger test

database. The investigations undertaken in this study to determine

if it is possible to discriminate between individuals of two samples

using a multi dimensional facial feature vector found that the

Cosine u distance was the best discriminator this but could further

be improved upon by administering a more comprehensive

statistical analysis.

A small inter-operator study was carried out, to assess the

inﬂuence of landmark placement conducted by multiple operators.

This is important to test because although landmark placement on

all images used in the comparative process of this study was

conducted by a single operator, this would not likely be the case in

the real world. Landmark placement has been tested by other

researchers on 3D images in a clinical setting and it was suggested

that average operator error varies widely [30]. Using a digital

sliding calliper to measure photographs, researchers carried out an

intra observer study to test reliability of measurements and results

showed a low reliability in measurements of ls-sto and n-sn [33].

The current analysis was conducted with one experienced operator

but the remaining operators were inexperienced It would be

beneﬁcial to analyse this data further in an inter-operator study

using experienced operators located in different graphical regions

because this scenario would be more likely as a police procedure.

Experience was shown to be a beneﬁting factor when the inter-

operator variation in taking standard skeletal measurements was

Table 6

Interval showing two standard deviations of how many images in the database should be manually investigated.

Interval of best

match values

n (number of best

matches in the interval)

Mean of TP rank SD of TP rank Min of TP rank Max of TP rank Number of images to

manually investigate

in database (mean + 2SD)

0.90–0.99 0 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

0.80–0.89 2 1 0 1 1 1

0.70–0.79 7 1 0 1 1 1

0.60–0.69 23 3.6 7.6 1 37 19

0.50–0.59 30 8.9 13.5 1 65 36

0.40–0.49 16 16.7 28.5 1 110 74

0.30–0.39 2 2 1.4 1 3 5

K.F. Kleinberg, J.P. Siebert / Forensic Science International 219 (2012) 248–258 255

tested with a panel of experienced forensic anthropologists and

found to be minimal [31]. For evidence interpretation in the court

of law, any variation that occurs in the data as a result of multiple

operators placing landmarks should be small.

Results achieved by the experienced operator illustrated a

strong separation rate of true positive and true negative faces;

however, once the data from the inexperienced operators were

included, the distribution no longer depicted the strong separation.

Locating exact landmark location on a photograph is difﬁcult, even

for experienced operators, and could account for the wide variation

in measurement in this study. A further study analysing the

distribution achieved from the re-landmarked images of each

operator after applying the Cosine u distance (Z-normalised)

equation could determine if any of the inexperienced operators

also achieved the same strong separation rate as the experienced

operator. An inexperienced operator producing a similar degree of

separation to the experienced operator would signify that the

small separation rate produced from all operators was caused by

the inclusion of multiple operators rather than their experience.

However, from the literature [31], it can be predicted that the

spread from a single inexperienced operator would be larger than

an experienced operator.

Graphing the TP rank vs. the best match value can aid to

determine an approximation of how many images from the

database would need to be manually examined to ﬁnd the TP face,

assuming the TP face was in the database. Once the unknown

image has been tested against all database images and the best

match noted, the graph could be consulted to ﬁnd where the TP

was ranked and this gives an estimate of how many images should

be given additional veriﬁcation. Both the ﬁgures showing TP rank

against TP match values and best match values indicate that if a

match occurs at 0.7 and above, then it may likely be a TP match and

is worthy of further examination. Values below 0.7 still produce TP

matches; however, there are also poor TP ranks in the same area.

This is an indication that a larger set of images should be tested in

order to get a more accurate graph. The Z-normalised Cosine u

equation used to obtain the match values can also be referred to as

a statistical correlation or match probability and thus a match

value of 0.5 corresponds to chance. Therefore it is reasonable to set

0.7 as a ‘‘good match’’ threshold. This was conﬁrmed by binning the

matches into intervals. Finding the conﬁdence interval based upon

the mean and standard deviations of the rank of TP match scores

for a given interval agreed with match scores of 0.7 and above were

considered good scores for returning a TP face. The conclusion from

studying this small sample of images is that if a match value is

returned above 0.7, there is a good chance that the best match will

be a TP, however, a larger sample of images in both databases

should be tested to determine if consistent results are produced as

well as giving a more accurate approximation of images.

The rate of misclassiﬁcation tested thus far takes into account

the TP match between Sample 1 and Sample 2 plus any matches

deemed closer. However, in cases where the TP face was the best

match, it does not inform the researcher how close the next best

match was to the TP match. A TP match will hold more weight as

evidence when the next best match proves to be of signiﬁcant

distance away. Future work would determine the distance

between the TP match and the next best match by ﬁnding the

log likelihood ratio between matches. This is the log of the ratio of

the second best match to the best match. The full analysis would

include ﬁnding the log likelihood ratio between each match based

upon a descending order of matches that would show their relation

to each other. A poor log likelihood ratio could be indicative of the

necessity for more images to be tested. Any thoroughly tested and

validated method of identiﬁcation can only improve the adminis-

tration of justice. The basic principle of matching evidence from an

unknown suspect to a database of known individuals, as the

methods in this study were designed, could be used for police

casework as investigations are likely to be conducted in the same

manner. However, the method tested in this study of utilizing

anthropometric ratios to compare faces is not yet at the stage

where it would beneﬁt prosecutor’s cases in the judicial system. At

present, identifying individuals through a comparison of anthro-

pometric measurements is restricted but can possibly be of beneﬁt

if used in conjunction with evidence found at the scene and may

act as a form of corroborating evidence that when combined with

other evidence would serve to strengthen the identiﬁcation. Using

a substantially different methodology, research reported by Davis

et al. [32], broadly support the same conclusions as described in

our paper. Although the chosen landmarks in the two studies were

similar, there were differences in the way these landmarks were

utilised, for example, different distances between landmarks

measured, different proportions analysed and the inclusion of

angular measurements.

Several limitations were encountered over the course of this

study. First, the number of images for comparison did not provide

the ideal sample size in relation to the number of elements tested.

The method was tested on images of a similar physiognomy, as

occurs in practice, and these were the images available that suited

the criteria.

The landmarks, linear measurements, and to a lesser extent

ratios, were chosen for this study based on their use in previous

research. The number of landmarks chosen was not in question as

it was believed that enough landmarks were selected to gain an

acceptable representation of the face. The quantity of ratios was

selected for this same reason. However, even though the number of

ratios tested was considerably smaller than the possibilities based

on the number of landmarks, it is not known if all 59 ratios were

paramount to the analysis. Incorporating the 1,772,892 ratio

possibilities into a feature vector is something that could be tested

in further study by standard statistical methods such as a PCA and

factor analysis. It would then be necessary to determine which of

those would be beneﬁcial and which would hinder the comparison

process. Depending on the pose of the image, it would be suitable

to know which ratios were valuable.

Another limitation of the study was that a more comprehensive

statistical analysis could have further improved the data analysis. A

common precursor to further statistical investigation is a

multivariate technique called a Procrustes analysis. A Procrustes

analysis would match landmarks or shapes from two sets of data

removing the variation of translation, rotation and scaling in the

data so that the data becomes a single frame of reference.

Statistical tests to compare samples such as Students t-test [34] or

Hotelling’s, which is the multivariate equivalent of the t-test [35],

could be applied to the data investigated in this study; however,

the results achieved thus far can be interpreted and determined

from looking at the data directly. Additional analysis may focus on

creating receiver operating characteristics (ROC) graphs [36]. This

technique separates classiﬁers based on their performance; in this

case true positive and false positive face matches. This is helpful to

visualise the overall efﬁcacy of the comparison method because it

allows the operator to appraise how many false positives matches

are likely to occur with true positives matches.

This study tested the outcome of comparing two sets of 2D

images in a best-case scenario. Video images were of a high

resolution compared to that of typical grainy surveillance video

often found and all faces were positioned to the front with neutral

expressions. Best-case scenario images were utilised to set a

benchmark; if identiﬁcations could not be made on these images

then there was less hope for identiﬁcation based on images of a

lower quality. Two-dimensional images were used because they

are more accessible compared to 3D images and can be directly

obtained from surveillance video without the liability of

K.F. Kleinberg, J.P. Siebert / Forensic Science International 219 (2012) 248–258 256

potentially changing data through manipulation into a 3D image.

Although not utilised in this study, the creation of 3D images has

its place and is important to the ﬁeld of facial recognition to

address the fundamental problem of rotation variation amongst

images. A great deal of effort by researchers has been spent on

creating a 3D facial image [7,8,37,38], but 3D images are not

without their problems as well. Discouraging results were seen

when comparing a 2D image with that of a 3D laser scan image

by comparing the locations of the X and Y coordinates of a

maximum of seven landmarks [39]. The goal of this was to

manipulate the head positioning to mirror that of the unknown

individual [39]. The set of comparisons was small and combined

with the fact that only seven landmarks were used could have

inﬂuenced the poor outcome. In reality, it may not be feasible to

take a 3D image scan of a possible suspect as the subject will

probably not agree, but using photographs taken of the suspect

at several different angles to create a 3D image of the suspect

would be possible [7,8].

Another problem effect which may affect the comparison

between individuals from 2D images, apart from matching head

positions, is distortion. The effect of distortion on photographs may

affect the ability to compare images taken at different times with

different camera parameters. The focal length of the camera lens

and the subject distance from the camera are factors that

contribute to distortion, however, lens distortion can be corrected

by calibration. Farkas found that the greatest effect from distortion

was shortening of the upper third of the face and that one reason

the nasion and stomion landmarks proved to be accurate was

because they were on the same focusing plane [18].

In a photogrammetric analysis, the worst-case scenario is when

nothing is known about the cameras that captured the images. In

this type of circumstance there is a strong danger of generating any

comparison to ‘ﬁt’, whereas compelling comparisons can be made

from calibrated images. The camera parameters were unknown for

both sets of images utilised in the present study. In practice it is

likely that camera parameters will be known for at least one set of

images. In a photogrammetric analysis, Lee et al. found it necessary

to be aware of the distortion parameter of a camera lens in addition

to obtaining a sufﬁcient number of calibration points in order to

effectively measure the height of a person standing in a ﬁxed

location [40]. Camera parameters of video images obtained from

surveillance cameras can be acquired using basic photogrammetry

skills. In an ideal comparison, nothing would deviate between the

two cameras parameters, or at most only the focal length would be

varied.

A signiﬁcant problem with distinguishing between two 2D

images is that the face is a complex 3D structure and any

comparison protocol should therefore be designed with that in

mind. Future research should concentrate on creating a 3D

reconstruction of the suspect from their police identity photograph

and this 3D image could then be matched to the facial position of

the individual in the video image. Creating a 3D image should

demonstrate a unique ﬁt factor and superimposing a 2D image

(individual on video) onto a 3D image (suspect photograph) will

clearly exhibit the distribution of the ﬁtting error vs. the pose angle

and individuality of the person. It is possible to extract 3D

landmarks from video by matching two or more frames and

applying photogrammetry [41], however, facial expression can be

a confounding factor.

The general conclusion derived from the investigations

undertaken in this study was that these tests do not offer a

signiﬁcant and infallible method of discriminating between

individuals of two samples. At best they may offer corroborating

evidence and could be used to narrow down a list of suspects as

long as other evidence was available. However, it should be noted

as digital camera technology improves, the potential for capturing

high quality imagery is becoming more relevant and favours this

approach. The cases tested in this research were done as a best case

scenario; facial poses in both samples were faced frontal, images

from both samples were taken on the same day, landmarks on

images from both samples were placed by the same operator and

the resolution of video was high. These ‘best case’ samples would

most likely not be available to forensic scientists but the

advantages for further testing on worst case scenarios are non-

existent if the discriminatory power is not sufﬁcient with the best

cases.

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank A. Mike Burton in the School of

Psychology at the University of Aberdeen for providing the police

photographs used in this research.

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