Thursday, May 11, 2006

Fingerprint Images vs. Minutiae Templates

submitted by troym; comments by blogger jgl

Troy found this little story. I know very little about the fingerprint matching process. I thought that "minutiae templates" were used in the current method. It is interesting how they mention that vendor software is not cross-compatible. Is there room for improvement with the current fingerprint database system, or is it working out alright as it is?

A study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) shows that computerized systems that match fingerprints using interoperable minutiae templates--mathematical representations of a fingerprint image--can be highly accurate as an alternative to the full fingerprint image.

Minutiae templates are a fraction of the size of fingerprint images, require less storage memory and can be transmitted electronically faster than images. However, the techniques used by vendors to convert fingerprint images to minutiae are generally proprietary and their systems do not work with each other.

Results of the test are available at