Benchmarking Quality-dependent and Cost-sensitive Score-level Multimodal Biometric Fusion Algorithms

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Norman Poh, Thirimachos Bourlai, Josef Kittler, Lorene Allano, Fernando Alonso-Fernandez, Onkar Ambekar, John Baker, Bernadette Dorizzi, Omolara Fatukasi, Julian Fierrez, Harald Ganster, Javier Ortega-Garcia, Donald Maurer, Albert Ali Salah, Tobias Scheidat, Claus Vielhauer

IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security archive, Special issue on electronic voting,vol 4 issue 4,849-866, , 2009


Automatically verifying the identity of a person by means of biometrics (e.g., face and fingerprint) is an important application in our day-to-day activities such as accessing banking services and security control in airports. To increase the system reliability, several biometric devices are often used. Such a combined system is known as a multimodal biometric system. This paper reports a benchmarking study carried out within the framework the Biosecure DS2 (Access Control) evaluation campaign organized by the University of Surrey, involving face, fingerprint and iris biometrics for person authentication, targeting the application of physical access control in a mediumsize establishment with some 500 persons. While multimodal biometrics is a well investigated subject in the literature, there exists no benchmark for a fusion algorithm comparison. Working towards this goal, we designed two sets of experiments: qualitydependent and cost-sensitive evaluation. The quality-dependent evaluation aims at assessing how well fusion algorithms can perform under changing quality of raw biometric images principally due to change of devices. The cost-sensitive evaluation, on the other hand, investigates how well a fusion algorithm can perform given restricted computation and in the presence of software and hardware failures, resulting in errors such as failure to acquire and failure to match. Since multiple capturing devices are available, a fusion algorithm should be able to handle this non-ideal but nevertheless realistic scenario. In both evaluations, each fusion algorithm is provided with scores from each biometric comparison subsystem as well as the quality measures of both the template and the query data. The response to the call of the evaluation campaign proved very encouraging, with the submission of 22 fusion systems. To the best of our knowledge, this campaign is the first attempt to benchmark quality-based multimodal fusion algorithms. In the presence of changing image quality which may be due to a change of acquisition devices and/or device capturing configurations, we observe that the top performing fusion algorithms are those that exploit automatically derived quality measurements. Our evaluation also suggests that while using all the available biometric sensors can definitely increase the fusion performance, this comes at the expense of increased cost in terms of acquisition time, computation time, the physical cost of hardware and its maintenance cost. As demonstrated in our experiments, a promising solution which minimizes the composite cost is sequential fusion, where a fusion algorithm sequentially uses match scores until a desired confidence is reached, or until all the match scores are exhausted, before outputting the final combined score. Index Terms—multimodal biometric authentication, biometric database, quality-based fusion, cost-sensitive fusion.