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2017 International Conference on Biometrics and Kansei Engineering

Person verification based on finger knuckle images

and least-squares contour alignment
Krzysztof Wrobel Piotr Porwik Rafal Doroz Hossein Safaverdi
Institute of Computer Science Institute of Computer Science Institute of Computer Science Institute of Computer Science
University of Silesia University of Silesia University of Silesia University of Silesia
ul. Bedzinska 39, ul. Bedzinska 39, ul. Bedzinska 39, ul. Bedzinska 39,
41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland

Abstract—In this paper, a new approach for personal identity

verification using finger knuckle images and least-square contour
alignment method has been proposed. A special test rig with a
digital camera was prepared for acquisition the knuckle images.
Next, the obtained images of finger knuckle were subjected to
image processing method in order to extract the knuckle furrows
from them. The verification of person was performed by
comparing the furrows on the verified and the reference knuckle
images. To determine the similarity between the furrows we used
the least-square contour alignment method. The usability of the
proposed approach was tested experimentally. Practical
experiments, conducted with our database, confirmed that
results obtained are promising.
Fig. 1. Example of the finger knuckle image.
Keywords—biometrics, verification, finger knuckle images,
least-square contour alignment Until now, biometric systems based on analysis of finger
knuckle were described in many publications. In work [4],
I. INTRODUCTION Hidden Markov Models (HMM) and SVM method have been
Recently, one of the most important things is to control used to classify the features extracted from a finger knuckle. In
access to various kinds of resources [1]. This task can be [9], finger knuckle images were represented by a code system
accomplished with the use of the biometric techniques such as proposed by the authors. In that paper, for extraction and
signature, fingerprint, face recognition and so on [15,19]. classification the code system, there were used the following
Mentioned methods are well-known in the area of biometrics methods: PCA analysis, Radon transformation, linear
and their advantages and disadvantages are presented in many discriminant analysis (LDA) and independent component
publications [6,15,19]. Therefore, new biometric methods are analysis (ICA). In the other studies to analyse and recognize
all the time sought and old methods are continuously modified the finger knuckle images, there were used the techniques such
to improve their effectiveness. as surface curvature analysis [11], Gabor filter [20], as well as
the SIFT method [8] and the texture analysis [7].
In this work, a biometric verification method based on the
analysis of the human finger knuckles was proposed. This II. PROPOSED APPROACH
method can be used in either unimodal or multimodal
biometric systems. This paper proposes a method where person verification is
carried out using analysis the finger knuckles images. Our
In our investigation, by means of image processing approach consists of three main stages:
methods, extracting the furrows from finger knuckle images
has been done [3,4]. The furrows obtained from the finger  using a special device to acquire the knuckle images
knuckle are unique for each person and may be considered as a and next store them in database,
new set of biometric features. In Fig. 1 we can see an example
 create finger knuckle patterns from the obtained images,
of the finger knuckle image with visible furrows.
One of the most important advantages of the proposed  the verification stage in which comparisons between
method is that it is contactless - to acquire the finger knuckle knuckle images are made by least-square contour
images we used a digital camera. alignment (LSCA).

978-1-5386-3401-1/17/$31.00 @2017 IEEE

A. Acquisition of finger-knuckle images In order to determine the chain of points, the image is
The knuckle image acquisition task was performed by use skeletonized and then the points of ends and bifurcations of the
of a special device. This device consists of a box with a digital furrows are marked on the image. Location of such points is
camera and three LED-type lights. During acquisition process, determined by imposing of the 3x3 mask on each image pixel.
the camera focuses on the index finger knuckle. By using a Then, for each black pixel the value of J is calculated by
dedicated application the image is captured directly from the following equation:
camera and used in further stages. Proposed device is presented 1 1
in Fig. 2.

J ( x, y )    I ( x  a, y  b),
a 1 b 1
 
x  [2,..., W  1], y  [2,..., H  1],

where (x, y) are coordinates of analyzed pixel, W and H are the

width and height of the image I.
According to the value J, labels pT (end of the furrow) or pB
(bifurcation on the furrow) are assigned to each analyzed pixel:

 pT ( x, y ) if J ( x, y )  2
 p ( x, y )   B . 
 p ( x, y ) if J ( x, y )  3

In practice, the image can have many points of ends and

bifurcations, so these points have to be enumerated as pTi and
Fig. 2. Device to acquire finger knuckle images. p Bi , where i and j are numbers of ends and bifurcations.
When the labelling stage is finished, the procedure of
B. Pattern extraction of finger knuckle extracting the chains of points (which representing individual
As a method of furrow extraction from finger knuckle fragments of the furrows) is begun. For this purpose, the
images, the Hessian filter has been used [5]. This filter was Algorithm 1 is run for each image of finger knuckles in the
used due to its capability of finding the edges from the knuckle database. Consequently, we obtain a set K={c1,…} containing
images [2]. After applying Hessian filter we used Otsu method all the chains found in the image. Each i'th chain ci consists of
for binarization [12]. Otsu method employs the linear points (x,y) forming the i'th furrow.
discriminant analysis thresholding technique where foreground
(object) and background, can be divided into two classes by Algorithm 1: Extracting the chains of points from the knuckle
image intensity. An advantage of this method is, that the image.
binarization threshold is automatically established.
Input: Thinned finger knuckle image, list of the image points
The next stage is skeletonization, which aims to reduce the with labels L  { pT1 , pT2 ,..., p B1 , p B2 ,...} .
thickness of the lines in the image to one pixel. To fulfill this
task we used the Pavlidis’s thinning algorithm [14]. The Output: List of chains of the points K={c1,…}, where each
method of pattern extraction was described in detail in [17]. chain ci has starting and ending points with any type label (pT
The results of selected, mentioned stages are presented in or pB).
the Figs. 3. set i = 1;
foreach labeled point p  L of the set L do
add coordinates of the point p  L to the chain ci;
move the analyzed point from the point p to
the neighbour black pixel p* which not
belongs to any chain from the list K;
add point p* to the chain ci;
a) b) set analyzed point p = p*;
Fig. 3. a) finger knuckle image, b) image after preprocessing stage. while the analyzed point p  L ;
The extracted furrows are converted into chains of points i = i + 1;
and are used further to compute the similarity between chains
being compared.

C. Verification stage The knuckle image Kv is compared with all N knuckle
In order to compare two knuckle images by means of images stored in the database for the person who claimed the
identity. As a result of comparisons, we obtain the set  .
LSCA method we need to create two sets K A  {c1A , c2A ,..., cmA}
General principle of construction of the set  is shown below:
and K B  {c1B , c2B ,..., cnB } , describing images being compared.
These sets are obtained from Algorithm 1.
   {d ''( K v , K1A ), d ''( K v , K2A ),,..., d ''( K v , K NA )}  
Before comparison, the coordinates of all points of chains
are normalized to the interval [0, 1] and centered:
where KiA is the i’th knuckle image belonging to the person
n being verified, N is the number of all knuckle images in the
 j 1
sj database of the person being verified.
  s  S, s i i s i
 
i 1,..., n Next, the knuckle image Kv is compared with knuckle
images of the other users, randomly chosen from the database.
The results of comparisons are stored in set  :
 j 1
  q  Q, q i i q  i
 
i 1,..., n
   {d ''( K v , K1B ), d ''( K v , K 2B ),,..., d ''( K v , K NB )}  
In least-square counter alignment method comparison
between two chains of points is given by the following formula
[18]: where KiB is the i’th knuckle image which belongs to any
person from the database, but not the person being verified.
 d ( S , Q)  min S  t , , k (Q) F   After creating the sets  and  , the mean values of each
t2 , [  , ), k  0
of these sets are calculated as follows:
where  a , ,k - is the operator of translation by the vector
t   2 , rotation by the angle   [ ,  ) , and scaling by the    mean{}    mean{ }  
factor k > 0,
The ultimate decision of user verification depends on values of
- denotes the Frobenius norm of the matrix M. sets  and  :
The LSCA method requires that the data being compared,
must have the same number of elements. In the case of knuckle genuine knuckle if  
 decision    
images, this condition is not always fulfilled, because each  forged knuckle otherwise
knuckle furrow can have a different length (number of points).
In our work we used scaling method called Fixed Number of
Points (FNP) to equalize the length of furrows being compared. III. EXPERIMENTS
This method was described in detail in [13,16]. The detail
description of the least-square method is presented in the work The database used in experiments contained 150 finger
[10]. knuckle images, collected from 30 people, 5 images for each
The equation (5) allows comparison between two chains of
point. In order to compare all furrows in two sets KA and KB we Evaluation of the effectiveness of our method was
use the following equation: conducted by detection of forgeries during verification stage.
An image of a person being verified was compared with his/her
images stored in the database, and also with randomly selected
1 images of the other people. By calculating the accuracy, we
 d '( K A , K B ) 
m  min  d (c
i 1
i , c1 ),..., d (ci , cn ) ,  
measured the effectiveness of our method.
During the testing stage, the influence of two following
where K A  {c1A , c2A ,..., cmA} and K B  {c1B , c2B ,..., cnB } . parameters on this method were examined:

It should be noted that coefficient (6) is not symmetrical,  parameter N - the number of all knuckle images in the
therefore, the final equation for comparing two knuckle images database of the person being verified, see eq. (8) and
is as follows: (9),
 parameter FNP - length (number of points) of the
 d ''( K A , K B )  min( d '( K A , K B ), d '( K B , K A ))   furrows being compared.
The results of the tests carried out for different values of the
In the verification phase, an unknown person claims parameters FNP and N are presented in Table 1.
identity and provides a knuckle image Kv to be verified.


N Mean
25 50 75 shorter chain longer chain
1 91.45  0.50 91.75  0.33 90.68  0.77 89.26  0.36 89.80  0.92 90.59  0,58
2 92.77  0.33 91.52  0.25 91.59  0.69 89.16  0.40 89.55  0.38 90.80  0,41
3 92.37  0.14 91.71  0.19 91.65  0.38 88.95  0.58 89.38  0.14 90.81  0,29
4 91.70  0.30 91.48  0.32 91.82  0.25 88.92  0.24 89.41  0.25 90.67  0,27
5 92.23  0.07 91.94  0.13 92.04  0.19 89.25  0.08 88.76  0.49 90.84  0,19
6 91.81  0.18 91.75  0.07 91.99  0.07 89.38  0.12 89.26  0.23 90.84  0,13
7 91.72  0.15 91.95  0.06 91.99  0.20 89.41  0.17 89.15  0.11 90.85  0,14
8 92.19  0.06 91.94  0.10 91.84  0.08 89.19  0.05 88.72  0.15 90.8  0,09
9 91.98  0.19 91.87  0.10 91.99  0.04 89.30  0.08 88.99  0.21 90.2  0,13
10 91.95  0.06 91.93  0.09 91.89  0.06 89.39  0.03 89.23  0.14 90.8  0,08
Mean 91.96  0,20 91.78  0,16 91.75  0,27 89.22  0,21 89.22  0,30

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