Empirical evaluation of combining unobtrusiveness and security requirements in multimodal biometric systems

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Unobtrusive user authentication is more convenient than explicit interaction and can also increase system security because it can be performed frequently, unlike the current "once explicitly and for a long time" practice. Existing unobtrusive biometrics (e.g., face, voice, gait) do not perform sufficiently well for high-security applications, however, while reliable biometric authentication (e.g., fingerprint or iris) requires explicit user interaction. This work presents experiments with a cascaded multimodal biometric system, which first performs unobtrusive user authentication and requires explicit interaction only when the unobtrusive authentication fails. Experimental results obtained for a database of 150 users show that even with a fairly low performance of unobtrusive modalities (Equal Error Rate above 10%), the cascaded system is capable of satisfying a security requirement of a False Acceptance Rate less than 0.1% with an overall False Rejection Rate of less than 0.2%, while authenticating unobtrusively in 65% of cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-292
Number of pages14
JournalImage and Vision Computing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2009
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed



  • Biometrics
  • Cascade
  • Multimodal fusion

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