Can We Do Better in Unimodal Biometric Systems? A Rank-Based Score Normalization Framework

Panagiotis Moutafis, Ioannis A. Kakadiaris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Biometric systems use score normalization techniques and fusion rules to improve recognition performance. The large amount of research on score fusion for multimodal systems raises an important question: can we utilize the available information from unimodal systems more effectively? In this paper, we present a rank-based score normalization framework that addresses this problem. Specifically, our approach consists of three algorithms: 1) partition the matching scores into subsets and normalize each subset independently; 2) utilize the gallery versus gallery matching scores matrix (i.e., gallery-based information); and 3) dynamically augment the gallery in an online fashion. We invoke the theory of stochastic dominance along with results of prior research to demonstrate when and why our approach yields increased performance. Our framework: 1) can be used in conjunction with any score normalization technique and any fusion rule; 2) is amenable to parallel programming; and 3) is suitable for both verification and open-set identification. To assess the performance of our framework, we use the UHDB11 and FRGC v2 face datasets. Specifically, the statistical hypothesis tests performed illustrate that the performance of our framework improves as we increase the number of samples per subject. Furthermore, the corresponding statistical analysis demonstrates that increased separation between match and nonmatch scores is obtained for each probe. Besides the benefits and limitations highlighted by our experimental evaluation, results under optimal and pessimal conditions are also presented to offer better insights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6996045
Pages (from-to)2654-2667
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2015


  • Fusion
  • open-set identification
  • score normalization
  • unimodal biometric systems
  • Verification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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