Overview of Biometrics and Biometrics Systems

Overview of Biometrics and Biometrics Systems

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3646-0.ch002
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Recent security threats increase the necessity to establish the identity of every person. Biometric authentication is a solution to person authentication by analyzing physiological or behavioral characteristics. In this chapter, various biometric notions and terms are reviewed, along with typical biometric system components and different functionalities and performance parameters. The design and development of a biometric system, depending on a particular application scenario, is covered. This chapter also focuses on the inherent issues associated with biometric data and system performance through introducing radically new methods based on intelligent information fusion and intelligent pattern recognition, thus creating a notion of intelligent security systems. At the end of the chapter, the potential drawbacks of biometric unimodal systems, which serves as the motivation to introduce the concept of multimodal biometric system in the context of intelligent security systems, is discussed.
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2. Biometric Identifiers

Biometric authentication offers a natural and reliable solution to the problem of establishing identity of a person utilizing his/her physiological or behavioural biometric characteristics or identifiers (Jain, Flynn, & Ross, 2007). The term “biometry” literally means “life science,” and focused on studying biometric identifiers. These biometric identifiers, also called biometic traits, are integral part of a person’s identity (Bolle, Connell, Pankanti, Ratha, & Senior, 2004). Some of the physiological characteristics that are now used for biometric recognition include face, fingerprint, hand-geometry, ear, iris, retina, DNA, palmprint, hand vein, etc. Voice, gait, signature, keystroke dynamics are examples of behavioral characteristics used for biometric recognition. Soft biometrics emerged as a new group of biometric gaining more and more attention. It includes measurements related to person’s height, race, age, and gender. Finally, we identify one more group: social biometrics, making its way into the state-of-the-art security systems. This group includes data obtained from observing social behavior of the subject, interests, social network connections, work and leisure patterns, hobbies, and communication over social media.

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