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Identifying incomplete or partial fingerprints from a large fingerprint database remains a difficult challenge today. Existing studies on partial fingerprints focus on one-to-one matching using local ridge details. In this paper, we investigate the problem of retrieving candidate lists for matching partial fingerprints by exploiting global topological features. Specifically, we propose an analytical approach for reconstructing the global topology representation from a partial fingerprint. First, we present an inverse orientation model for describing the reconstruction problem. Then, we provide a general expression for all valid solutions to the inverse model. This allows us to preserve data fidelity in the existing segments while exploring missing structures in the unknown parts. We have further developed algorithms for estimating the missing orientation structures based on some a priori knowledge of ridge topology features. Our statistical experiments show that our proposed model-based approach can effectively reduce the number of candidates for pair-wised fingerprint matching, and thus significantly improve the system retrieval performance for partial fingerprint identification.