Non-reversible Mathematical Transforms for Secure Biometric Face Recognition

M. A. Dabbah

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


    As the demand for higher and more sophisticated security solutions has dramatically increased, a trustworthy and a more intelligent authentication technology has to takeover. That is biometric authentication. Although biometrics provides promising solutions, it is still a pattern recognition and artificial intelligence grand challenge. More importantly, biometric data in itself are vulnerable and requires comprehensive protection that ensures their security at every stage of the authentication procedure including the processing stage. Without this protection biometric authentication cannot replace traditional authentication methods. This protection however cannot be accomplished using conventional cryptographic methods due to the nature of biometric data, its usage and inherited dynamical changes. The new protection method has to transform the biometric data into a secure domain where original information cannot be reversed or retrieved. This secure domain has also to be suitable for accurate authentication performance. In addition, due to the permanence characteristic of the biometric data and the limited number of valid biometrics for each individual, the transform has to be able to generate multiple versions of the same original biometric trait. This to facilitate the replacement and the cancellation of any compromised transformed template with a newer one without compromising the security of the system. Hence the name of the transform that is best known as cancellable biometric.Two cancellable face biometric transforms have been designed, implemented and analysed in this thesis, the Polynomial and Co-occurrence Mapping (PCoM) and the Randomised Radon Signatures (RRS). The PCoM transform is based on high-order polynomial function mappings and co-occurrence matrices derived from the face images. The secure template is formed by the Hadamard product of the generated metrics. A mathematical framework of the two-dimensional Principal Component Analysis (2DPCA) recognition is established for accuracy performance evaluation and analysis. The RRS transform is based on the Radon Transform (RT) and the random projection. The Radon Signature is generated from the parametric Radon domain of the face and mixed with the random projection of the original face image. The transform relies on the extracted signatures and the Johnson-Lindenstrauss lemma for high accuracy performance. The Fisher Discriminant Analysis (FDA) is used for evaluating the accuracy performance of the transformed templates. Each of the transforms has its own security analysis besides a comprehensive security analysis for both. This comprehensive analysis is based on a conventional measure for the Exhaustive Search Attack (ESA) and a new derived measure based on the lower-bound guessing entropy for Smart Statistical Attack (SSA). This entropy measure is shown to be greater than the Shannon lower-bound of the guessing entropy for the transformed templates. This shows that the transforms provide greater security while the ESA analysis demonstrates immunity against brute force attacks. In terms of authentication performance, both transforms have either maintained or improved the accuracy of authentication. The PCoM has maintained the recognition rates for the CMU Advance Multimedia Processing Lab (AMP) and the CMU Pose, Illumination & Expression (PIE) databases at 98.35% and 90.13% respectively while improving the rate for the Olivetti Research Ltd (ORL) database to 97%. The transform has achieved a maximum recognition performance improvement of 4%. Meanwhile, the RRS transform has obtained an outstanding performance by achieving zero error rates for the ORL and PIE databases while improving the rate for the AMP by 37.50%. In addition, the transform has significantly enhanced the genuine and impostor distributions separations by 263.73%, 24.94% and 256.83% for the ORL, AMP and PIE databases while the overlap of these distributions have been completely eliminated for the ORL and PIE databases.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Newcastle University
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2008


    • Biometrics
    • Security
    • Mathematical Transforms
    • Face Recognition
    • Pattern Recognition


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