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Directed Studies: Biometric identification


Biometric identification systems aim to automatically identify people based on behavioural or physiological characteristics. They are based on measurements of fingerprint, face, iris, retina, gait, voice, hand geometry, signature, and many others. This course aims to explore: 1) match algorithms, 2) measurement and validation methods, 3) standards, and 4) societal implications.


Andy Adler,
    Jim Green,


Work  Value
Presentation #1    20 %
Presentation #2    20 %
Presentation #3    20 %
Project Report
− Project Proposal
− Project Report
   40 %
− 5 %
− 35 %


No.  Assignment  Due Date  Place/Time
-    Meeting: Initial course meeting    9 Jan    CB6203/1400−1500
-    Meeting: Discussion Meeting    21 Jan    CB6203/1400−1500
1    Presentation #1: A topic from the list of presentation topics. Each presentation is 20 minutes + 10 min questions.    4 Feb    CB6203/1400−1500
2    Presentation #2: a topic from the list of presentation topics.    25 Feb    CB6203/1400−1500
-    Project Proposals Due:    4 Mar   
3    Presentation #3: Project Presentations    1 Apr    CB6203/1400−1500
4    Project Reports Due:    15 Apr   

Assignments, Presentations, and Project

  • Presentations:
      Presentations will be in English and last approx. 20 minutes followed by questions. Marks are based on technical content, clarity of presentation, and ability to answer questions. The following are examples of presentation topics:
      • history fingerprint recognition
      • history face recognition
      • algorithms for fingerprint recognition
      • algorithms for face recognition
      • algorithms for 3D face recognition
      • algorithms for iris recognition
      • algorithms for gait recognition
      • algorithms for voice recognition
      • algorithms for signature recognition
      • biometrics testing methodologies
      • biometrics statistical methods
      • statistical properties of biometric samples
      • large scale tests: FRVT, FpVTE
      • ISO standardisation: ICAO passport standard, ILO seafarers ID
      • API / software design standardization: BioAPI, BAPI, Microsoft biometric API
      • biometric encryption
      • applications for e-commerce
      • applications for industry / government
      • applications for national identity
      • privacy issues
      • security issues
  • Project Proposal:
      Proposal is 1-2 pages (double spaced). Include problem description, proposed techniques, and references.
  • Project Report:
      The report will be 20−40 pages (double spaced) and written in English or French. The project will involve reading and explanation of issues and techniques in the biometrics litterature. If possible, database tests or an implementation will be developed. Include an introduction, methods, results and discussion. Ensure that the report synthesizes and discusses the material. Do not simply restate existing work. Marks are based on the technical content, and report clarity.

Texts and Materials

The following list represents a selection of biometrics literature. Students should read several books and/or papers from this list during the completion of the project.

Note, if you have suggestions for this list, please send them to me; it is hard to keep such a list up to date.