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Facial Recognition Technology

The Underlying Algorithm

Fundamental to any face recognition system is the way in which faces are coded. FaceItŪ uses Local Feature Analysis (LFA) to represent facial images in terms of local statistically derived building blocks.

LFA is a mathematical technique developed by Dr. Joseph Atick and his colleagues at Rockefeller University. LFA is based on the realization thatall facial images (for that matter all complex patterns) can be synthesized from an irreducible set of building elements.

These elements are derived from a representative ensemble of faces using sophisticated statistical techniques. They span multiple pixels (but are still local) and represent universal facial shapes, but are not exactly the commonly known facial features.

In fact, there are many more facial building elements than there are facial parts. However, it turns out that synthesizing a given facial image, to a high degree of precision, requires only a small subset (12-40 characteristic elements) of the total available set. Identity is determined not only by which elements are characteristic, but also by the manner in which they are geometrically combined (i.e. their relative positions).

Using LFA, FaceItŪ maps an individual's identity into a complex mathematical formula - called a faceprint - that can be matched and compared to others with phenomenal accuracy. It is resistant to changes in lighting, skin tone, eyeglasses, facial expression and hair and is robust with respect to pose variations, up to 35 degrees in all directions.

The faceprint contains the information that distinguishes a face from millions of others. And our latest advances allow the FaceItŪ engine to scan through these millions of records in the blink of an eye.



Updated: May 31st, 2007 02:54 PM EDT

Lockheed Martin Opens Biometrics Center

BEACON center partners with labs, academia, to test future of biometric security technology
SIW Editorial Staff


Government integrator and services provider Lockheed Martin is getting into full-scale testing of biometric applications. The company announced this past week that it has founded its Biometric Experimentation and Advanced Concepts (BEACON) center in White Hall, W.V., to help test and develop biometric solutions.

The company's BEACON center is placed in a 6,000-square-foot facility and is staffed by technology experts who will collaborate with vendors and academia to test out the future of biometric devices, especially those with a security bent. According to Lockheed, the facility will tie in with its other operations, including their CMMI biometrics operations in Florida, their Center for Innovation in Suffolk, Va., and the Draper Labs in Utah.

According to Carlaine Blizzard, vice president of Secure Enterprise Solutions, Lockheed Martin Transportation and Security Solutions, the W.V.-based center will also work with the Center for Identification Technology Research (CITeR).

Biometrics at Lockheed Martin has been a long-time pursuit. The company was a chief developer of the FBI's AFIS system and has worked heavily on the HSDP-12/FIPS 201 initiative for unified government access control, an initiative which requires a biometric element to the identification and enrollment.

"Biometric technology offers great promise for the future, especially in initiatives that are important to the security of our nation," said Judy Marks, president, Lockheed Martin Transportation and Security Solutions, in announcing the new BEACON center. "Research and development are key to realizing this type of technology's full potential."


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I-Cube.   All rights reserved.  Revised: February 18, 2008  


Heathrow security increased by biometrics

Jul 16 2007 4:53PM

18213269-Heathrow+Airport_8000131_18213269_0_0_10148_300.jpg Fingerprint testing and facial scans are to be used Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5 to help increase security.

The system takes biometric information from passengers which is then used to validate the identity of passengers when boarding the aircraft and will operate across British Airways' (BA) domestic and international flights from the airport's new terminal building.

It is hoped that the new system will assist border and immigration control when domestic and non-domestic passengers mix in the same departure terminal.

The spokesperson also said that the technology could be used in other Heathrow terminals.

Commenting on the new system, a spokesperson from BA said it "adds another level of security and ensures that people can't swap tickets or go on flights they weren't supposed to go on or whatever else they may be up to".

BA is the third-largest airline in Europe and the largest in the UK. London Heathrow and London Gatwick are its main hubs.



Biometrics, Automated ID System in Iraqi

Published Fri, 2007-08-17 17:14

The Iraqi government's automated biometrics identification system -- used to screen civilian workers, police and soldiers, as well as to catch criminals -- is a "tremendous success," a U.S. military officer said in Baghdad today.

Army Lt. Col. John W. Velliquette Jr., who runs the fingerprint and retina scanning center located at the International Zone in Baghdad, explained the system to online reporters and "bloggers" during a conference call today.

Biometrics is defined as measurable physical or behavioral characteristics that can be used to identify people. More than 350,000 sets of fingerprints, photos and retina scans are now deposited in the system's database, said Velliquette, a reservist and Seattle police officer who is assigned to the Coalition Police Assistance Training Team.

"We increase the database by 4,000 to 5,000 each week," Velliquette said.

A team of seven U.S. contractors now mentors 24 Iraqi government employees who operate the U.S.-provided system, Velliquette explained. Officials expect the Iraqis to assume full operation by next summer, he added.

The system is a boon for security purposes, especially in Baghdad's International Zone, where U.S. and Iraqi military and diplomatic headquarters are located, Velliquette said. Iraqis who work in the zone are biometrically screened for access, he said.

The automated identification system is tied back to the Defense Department's Biometric Fusion Center, in Clarksburg, W.Va., Velliquette said.

The identification system also is used to identify previous criminals and people suspected of recent crimes, he said.

Iraq is awash in guns, and the identification system helps ensure that only authorized individuals carry firearms, Villiquette explained. Iraqi citizens may own and keep firearms at home, but they aren't allowed to carry them in public, he said.

Official identification cards carried by the Iraqi police demonstrate they've been vetted through the biometric identification program, Villiquette said. Iraqi police who are found not to possess a proper biometrics identification card are relieved of their weapons, he said.

"The Iraqi people need to have confidence in their police," Velliquette pointed out.

Insurgents and other criminals have been known to try to infiltrate into the ranks of the police and military, he said. The biometrics data base "helps weed those people out of the system," Velliquette said.




I-Cube.   All rights reserved.  Revised: February 18, 2008 .