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How iris recognition works

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1 Author(s)
J. Daugman ; Comput. Lab., Univ. of Cambridge, UK

Algorithms developed by the author for recognizing persons by their iris patterns have now been tested in many field and laboratory trials, producing no false matches in several million comparison tests. The recognition principle is the failure of a test of statistical independence on iris phase structure encoded by multi-scale quadrature wavelets. The combinatorial complexity of this phase information across different persons spans about 249 degrees of freedom and generates a discrimination entropy of about 3.2 b/mm2 over the iris, enabling real-time decisions about personal identity with extremely high confidence. The high confidence levels are important because they allow very large databases to be searched exhaustively (one-to-many "identification mode") without making false matches, despite so many chances. Biometrics that lack this property can only survive one-to-one ("verification") or few comparisons. The paper explains the iris recognition algorithms and presents results of 9.1 million comparisons among eye images from trials in Britain, the USA, Japan, and Korea.

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IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 1 )