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A Bayesian formulation is proposed for reliable and robust extraction of the directional field in fingerprint images using a class of spatially smooth priors. The spatial smoothness allows for robust directional field estimation in the presence of moderate noise levels. Parametric template models are suggested as candidate singularity models for singularity detection. The parametric models enable joint extraction of the directional field and the singularities in fingerprint impressions by dynamic updating of feature information. This allows for the detection of singularities that may have previously been missed, as well as better aligning the directional field around detected singularities. A criteria is presented for selecting an optimal block size to reduce the number of spurious singularity detections. The best rates of spurious detection and missed singularities given by the algorithm are 4.9% and 7.1%, respectively, based on the NIST 4 database.