Algorithm for Detection and Elimination of False Minutiae in Fingerprint Images

Seonjoo Kim, Dongjae Lee, and Jaihie Kim
Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering,Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea

Abstract. A common problem in fingerprint recognition is the existence of false minutiae which increase both FAR and FRR in fingerprint matching. In this paper, a robust minutiae postprocessing algorithm is proposed. Unlike most algorithms which use simple distance and connectivity criterions for postprocessing, we also used orientation and flow of ridges as the key factor for postprocessing to avoid eliminating true minutiae while postprocessing. It is shown by the experiments that our postprocessing algorithm improves the minutiae extraction accuracy and the performance of the matching process.



Most fingerprint recognition systems are based on minutiae matching [1]. Minutiae are local discontinuities of fingerprints and are restricted to two types : ridge ending and ridge bifurcation [2], [3]. A common problem in fingerprint recognition is the existence of false minutiae which increase both FAR and FRR in fingerprint matching. Therefore, the enhancement of the fingerprint image and the false minutiae elimination form an important part of the system. However, most of the researches emphasized on the fingerprint image enhancement and the false minutiae elimination process was based on simple distance and connectivity criteria [1], [2], [3], [4]. But the problem with such simple approaches is that it eliminates true minutiae while eliminating false minutiae. Xiao and Raafat proposed in [5], a minutiae postprocessing algorithm based on both statistical and structural information. However, their method relies heavily on connectivity which makes it complex and unreliable to bad quality fingerprints. Also, specific structural informations were not given. In this paper, we present an efficient minutiae postprocessing algorithm. The goal of our minutiae extraction algorithm is to remove as many false minutiae as possible while retaining true minutiae. The goal is achieved by postprocessing minutiae based on not only the minutiae distance and connectivity but also using the orientation and flow of ridges as the key factor. Rest of the paper is organized as follows. Section 2 briefly decribes the adopted preprocessing procedures. Section 3 decribes the proposed minutiae postprocessing procedures. The performance of the proposed algorithm is shown by experiments in Section 4. Finally, Section 5 contains conclusion.

Typical false minutiae structures are shown in Fig. The calculated orientation is in the range between 0 and π After the ridge orientation calculation. Using the calculated orientations and frequencies. then the point is an endpoint.2 2. If the count equals 6. ridge frequency is calculated[6].2 Minutiae Extraction After a thinned fingerprint image is obtained. then the point is a bifurcation. the proposed methods are based on the flow of ridges as well as the minutiae distance and connectivity. 3 Proposed Minutiae Postprocessing Algorithm There are many false minutiae among the extracted minutiae.1 Preprocessing and Minutiae Extraction Preprocessing Preprocessing procedures necessary for minutiae extraction are shown in Fig. The final preprocessing operation required before extracting minutiae is thinning. The Zhang-Seun thinning algorithm[7] is used in this paper. To eliminate false minutiae without eliminating true minutiae. minutiae are directly extracted from the thinned image. the x & y coordinate and the orientation are recorded.1. The least mean square orientation estimation algorithm[6] is used and the local ridge orientation is specified by blocks rather than every pixel. Preprocessing Procedures The first preprocessing procedure is the calculation of the local ridge orientation. a count of the pixel value transition at a point of interest in a 3×3 mask is used [4]. Thinning reduces the the widths of the binary ridges down to a single pixel to facilitate the job of detecting ridge endings and bifurcations. [5].2. The minutiae orientation is defined as the local ridge orientation of the associated ridge[2]. . To detect minutiae. 1. the input grayscale image is enhanced and binarized by Gabor filters which have both frequency-selective and orientation-selective properties[6]. Fig. If the count equals 2. False minutiae will decrease the performance of the fingerprint identification system by increasing both FRR and FAR. minutiae postprocessing algorithm is proposed. 2. For each extracted minutia. In this section. The minutiae orientation is in the range between 0 and π.

2 Detecting Bridge Structure Due to excessive finger pressure or noise in the image. False Minutiae Structures: (a)Broken ridge. For example(Fig. 2. if ridge connected with minutia A flows downwards. (g)Triangle (a) (b) Fig. (b)Bridge. Two endpoints are identified as a broken ridge structure by the following decision rules. (f) Hole.3(a)) (1) (x1 − x2 )2 + (y1 − y2 )2 < Dist1 (1) (2) The line constructed by connecting two endpoints and two ridges connected with each minutia should all flow in the same direction tan−1 ( y2 − y1 ) x2 − x1 1 (ORA + ORB ). Based on the fact that ridges in fingerprint flow smooth and neighbor ridges flow in similar direction. Typical false minutiae : (a)Broken ridge. 3.1 Detecting Broken Ridge Structure Because of scars and insufficient finger pressure on the input device.3(a)). 3. 2 (2) (3) Two ridges should be flowing to the opposite direction without being connected. method for detecting two false bifurcation associated with bridge structures is as follows. two separate ridges are sometimes connected by a short ridge to make a bridge structure.3(b)) . Obviously.(a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) Fig. a ridge may break into two ridges creating two endpoints. (b)Bridge 3. these two endpoints are false minutiae and should be eliminated.(Fig. (c)Short ridge. (e) Short Ridge. (Fig. (d)Short ridge.the other ridge should flow upwards and minutia B should be placed above the minutia A.

two minutiae are considered as false minutiae. Ridge frequency is already calculated in image enhancement process[6].then two bifurcations 4 are identified as a bridge structure. To efficiently eliminate false minutiae while retaining true minutiae. Also if a bifurcation meets another bifurcation while traking ridges and two bifurcations flow in opposite direction(Fig. False Minutiae Elimination Order . 3. (2) If one of the tracked ridges meet another bifurcation(Point B). To detect this kind of false minutiae.(1) Start tracking three ridges connected to a bifurcation(Point A). 4. distances between ridges change everytime due to different pressure a user puts on a input device.4. various thresholds used in this paper are made adaptive based on ridge frequency(Table. ORB ) is larger than a specified angle( π used in this dissertation).2(g)) can also be detected efficiently. If a tracked ridge meets another endpoint or a bifurcation within a distance(Dist3 ). 3. Fig. Note that by applying the described rule. If two tracked ridges meet to form another bifurcation and two bifurcations are within a distance(Dist4 ). two bifurcations are considered false minutiae. we start tracking ridges from ridge endings. calculate orientation of the ridge connected by two bifurcations(ORAB ) and the distance between two bifurcations(DistAB ).3 Detecting Short Ridge Structure All short ridges should be considered as false minutiae because they are usually artifacts introduced by image preprocessing procedure such as ridge segmentation and thinning.2(e)). then both bifurcations are considered as false minutiae. (3) If the DistAB is less than a threshold value(Dist2 ) and the difference between the ORAB and the average orientation of two bifurcations(ORA . By using the rule above. The hole structure can be detected by tracking three ridges connected to an extracted bifurcation. In the triangular structure.4 Detecting Hole Structure Hole structures occur due to pores and dirts on fingerprints.5 Thresholds and False Minutiae Elimination Because fingers are elasitic. it is important to eliminate the two false minutiae while not eliminating the true minutia. false minutiae are detected and eliminated in specific order as shown in Fig. 3. only two false minutiae are detected. false minutiae in triangular structures (Fig.1). To cope with this problem. Two false minutiae and a true minutia are form a triangular structure.

The size of the image is 248 × 292 with the resolution of 450 dpi and 1000 fingerprint images(10 fingerprints for 100 individuals) with various image qualities were used for experiments. Postprocessing performance: Method(A).7/freq 2/freq Table 1. to see the effect of our postprocessing algorithm on actual fingerprint matching.3 5. Exchanged Minutiae(EM) are minutiae extracted by the system which coincide with TM except the type.2%.Raw Minutiae Extraction. we adopted matching procedure from [8].1 54. Table 2 shows the performance of our proposed minutiae postprocessing algorithm.5 shows matching results with ROC curves. Before showing the experimental results.8 81. Method(B)-Postprocessing adopted (DMR : Dropped Minutiae Ratio.9 21. TMR : True Minutiae Ratio. Paired Minutiae(PM) are minutiae extracted by the system which coincide with TM. the performance of the proposed minutiae postprocessing algorithm is evaluated. The method A indicates the results of the raw minutiae extraction(without postprocessing) and the method B indicates the results when our postprocessing algorithm is adopted. Finally. Dropped Minutiae(DM) are minutiae picked by an expert which are not extracted by the system.1 84. we will describe some terms used to evaluate the performance. FMR : False Minutiae Ratio) 4 Experimental Results In this section. It shows that the False Minutiae Ratio drops 33% while the True Minutiae Ratio only drops 2. It is clear from the results that the performance of the matching system is greatly improved by adopting the proposed postprocessing algorithm. Fingerprint images were acquired through optic-based fingerprint sensor manufactured by Nitgen. Threshold Values : Freq indicates the ridge frequency at the minutia DMR(%) EMR(%) TMR(%) FMR(%) Method A 9.Dist Dist1 Dist2 Dist3 Dist4 Description Broken Ridge Bridge Short Ridge Hole Threshold 2/freq 1.2 Method B 12. . Fig. True Minutiae(TM) are minutiae picked by an expert. EMR : Exchanged Minutiae Ratio.5/freq 1.2 Table 2. In addition.8 6. False Minutiae(FM) are minutiae extracted by the system which do not coincide with TM.

L. 5. 1997 [2] A. 1999. Maltoni. Bolle. Eds. Experimental results showed that our algorithm is indeed very effective. 1. C. vol. [8] A. Algorithms for Image Processing and Computer Vision. “Fingerprint Image Postprocessing : A Combined Statistical and Structural Approach. pp. no. 27 .39. Wahab. Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence.302-313. and A. Maio. “Novel Approach to Automated Fingerprint Recognition. vol. K. our proposed algorithm was based on the orientation and flow of ridges as well as minutiae distance and connectivity. vol. Hong. and A. 1995 [5] Q. E. Tain. Jain. Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence.. Y. 19. pp. 28. April 1997. no. 11. R.3. C.160–166. Image Signal Process.“ IEEE Trans. Machine Intell. [7] J. Raafat. 1. “On-Line Fingerprint Verification.. 4. Chen. et al. pp. and H.“ Pattern Recognition. Xiao. K. Chin. pp..Fig. To avoid eliminating true minutiae while postprocessing. Wan. and R. . 1998.Vis. pp.” IEEE Trans. and D. K. H. no. vol.672. Jain. vol. eliminating great deal of false minutiae while retaining most of true minutiae. no. Pattern Anal.” IEEE Trans. Ratha. 1997. K.“ Pattern Recognition. Aug.20. S. “Direct Gray-Scale Minutiae Detection in Fingerprints. Jain. 1998.145. Intelligent Biometric Techniques in Fingerprint and Face Recognition. 11.” IEE Proc. [3] L. Jun. 19. 1995 [6] L. “Fingerprint Image Enhancement: Algorithm and Performance Evaluation. 28. “Adaptive Flow Orientation Based Feature Extraction in Fingerprint Images. New York : Wiley Computer Publishing. Hong.657 1. ROC(Receiver Operating Characteristic) Curves 5 Conclusion A minutiae postprocessing algorithm was proposed in this paper. vol. References [1] D.657 1. 1. Parker. It was also shown that the proposed algorithm improves the fingerprint matching performance. no. CRC Press International Series on Computational Intelligence.672. pp. [4] N. Jain. S.777–789.

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