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SAIEE Africa Research Journal

On-line version ISSN 1991-1696
Print version ISSN 0038-2221


KOHLAKALA, Aviwe  and  COETZER, Johannes. Ear-based biometric authentication through the detection of prominent contours. SAIEE ARJ [online]. 2021, vol.112, n.2, pp.89-98. ISSN 1991-1696.

In this paper novel semi-automated and fully automated ear-based biometric authentication systems are proposed. The region of interest (ROI) is manually specified and automatically detected within the context of the semi-automated and fully automated systems, respectively. The automatic detection of the ROI is facilitated by a convolutional neural network (CNN) and morphological postprocessing. The CNN classifies sub-images of the ear in question as either foreground (part of the ear shell) or background (homogeneous skin, hair or jewellery). Prominent contours associated with the folds of the ear shell are detected within the ROI. The discrete Radon transform (DRT) is subsequently applied to the resulting binary contour image for the purpose of feature extraction. Feature matching is achieved by implementing an Euclidean distance measure. A ranking verifier is constructed for the purpose of authentication. In this study experiments are conducted on two independent ear databases, that is (1) the Mathematical Analysis of Images (AMI) ear database and (2) the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi ear database. The results are encouraging. Within the context of the proposed semi-automated system, accuracies of 99.20% and 96.06% are reported for the AMI and IIT Delhi ear databases respectively.

Keywords : ear shell; biometric authentication; convolu-tional neural network.

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