A new approach for human identification using the eye

N. Luke Thomas, Purdue University


The vein structure in the sclera, the white and opaque outer protective covering of the eye, is anecdotally stable over time and unique to each person. As a result, it is well suited for use as a biometric for human identification. A few researchers have performed sclera vein pattern recognition and have reported promising, but low accuracy, initial results. Sclera recognition poses several challenges: the vein structure moves and deforms with the movement of the eye and its surrounding tissues; images of sclera patterns are often defocused and/or saturated; and, most importantly, the vein structure in the sclera is multi-layered and has complex non-linear deformation. The previous approaches in sclera recognition have treated the sclera patterns as a one-layered vein structure, and, as a result, their sclera recognition accuracy is not high. In this thesis, we propose a new method for sclera recognition with the following contributions: First, we developed a color-based sclera region estimation scheme for sclera segmentation. Second, we designed a Gabor wavelet based sclera pattern enhancement method, and an adaptive thresholding method to emphasize and binarize the sclera vein patterns. Third, we proposed a line descriptor based feature extraction, registration, and matching method that is scale-, orientation-, and deformation-invariant, and can mitigate the multi-layered deformation effects and tolerate segmentation error. It is empirically verified using the UBIRIS and IUPUI multi-wavelength databases that the proposed method can perform accurate sclera recognition. In addition, the recognition results are compared to iris recognition algorithms, with very comparable results.




Du, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Computer Engineering|Electrical engineering

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