Fingerprint Enhancement by Shape Adaptation of Scale-Space Operators with Automatic Scale-Selection

Andrés Almansa and Tony Lindeberg

Technical Report ISRN KTH/NA/R--99/01--SE available from KTH, NADA, S-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden.

Revised version in IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, volume 9, number 12, pp 2027-2042, 2000


This work presents two mechanisms for processing fingerprint images; shape-adapted smoothing based on second moment descriptors and automatic scale selection based on normalized derivatives.

The shape adaptation procedure adapts the smoothing operation to the local ridge structures, which allows interrupted ridges to be joined without destroying essential singularities such as branching points and enforces continuity of their directional fields. The scale selection procedure estimates local ridge width and adapts the amount of smoothing to the local amount of noise. In addition, a ridgeness measure is defined, which reflects how well the local image structure agrees with a qualitative ridge model, and is used for spreading the results of shape adaptation into noisy areas.

The combined approach makes it possible to resolve fine scale structures in clear areas while reducing the risk of enhancing noise in blurred or fragmented areas. The result is a reliable and adaptively detailed estimate of the ridge orientation field and ridge width, as well as a smoothed grey-level version of the input image.

We propose that these general techniques should be of interest to developers of automatic fingerprint identification systems as well as in other applications of processing related types of imagery.

Postscript: (2.7 Mb) (One colour page 0.6 Mb)

PDF: (1.5 Mb)

Background material:

(Earlier and more extensive technical report on fingerprint enhancement using shape adaptation and automatic scale selection) (Tutorial paper on mechanisms for automatic scale selection) (Article on shape adaptation) (Monograph on scale-space theory)
Responsible for this page: Tony Lindeberg