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Model Based Separation of Overlapping Latent Fingerprints

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2 Author(s)
Qijun Zhao ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI, USA ; Jain, A.K.

Latent fingerprints lifted from crime scenes often contain overlapping prints, which are difficult to separate and match by state-of-the-art fingerprint matchers. A few methods have been proposed to separate overlapping fingerprints to enable fingerprint matchers to successfully match the component fingerprints. These methods are limited by the accuracy of the estimated orientation field, which is not reliable for poor quality overlapping latent fingerprints. In this paper, we improve the robustness of overlapping fingerprints separation, particularly for low quality images. Our algorithm reconstructs the orientation fields of component prints by modeling fingerprint orientation fields. In order to facilitate this, we utilize the orientation cues of component fingerprints, which are manually marked by fingerprint examiners. This additional markup is acceptable in forensics, where the first priority is to improve the latent matching accuracy. The effectiveness of the proposed method has been evaluated not only on simulated overlapping prints, but also on real overlapped latent fingerprint images. Compared with available methods, the proposed algorithm is more effective in separating poor quality overlapping fingerprints and enhancing the matching accuracy of overlapping fingerprints.

Published in:

Information Forensics and Security, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 3 )
Biometrics Compendium, IEEE