Power: Is It Mostly Hype?
Biometrics have been widely accepted as powerful tools in combatting terriorism.
However, there is recent evidence that biometric systems are not nearly as powerful as the media indicates,
and certainly not as powerful as advertised by the companies making the products.
Last year's project teams investigated freeware and licenced biometric products, see
Investigation of Freeware Biometric Products and
Investigation of Two Licenced Biometric Products,
which were presented at Research Day 2011.
This semester we will investigate whether biometric systems are truly powerful or whether they are over hyped by the media
as well as by the creators of biometric products.
The project team will
The key parameters to obtain on a user verification product are
- investigate various sources - books, articles, internet, etc. - and summarize the information available
- interview sales representatives and others from the companies that manufacture biometric products
to determine advertised accuracies of these systems - for example, we have contacts at the companies we purchased equipment from
Accuracy (e.g., EER) will decrease as the population of users increases - for example, there is a huge difference between a class of 30 students
(e.g., taking online tests) and the roughly 300 million population of the United States.
Accuracy (e.g., EER) will also decrease as the quality of the data samples degrades -
for example, it can be difficult to identify someone from a partial or smudged fingerprint.
Biometric equipment manufacturers typically quote accuracy figures from controlled experiments on a small population of users and
clean high resolution biometric samples.
- the equal error rate (ERR) from the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve
- the number of users
- the quality of the data samples
It is anticipated that the final deliverable of this team will be an article
that exposes the media and manufacturer hype relating to these products.
The project team can also reexamine the face and fingerprint products for which we have licences.