Human identification (ID) is a biometric task, comparing single input sample to many stored templates to identify an individual in a reference database. This paper aims to present the perspectives of personalized heartbeat pattern for reliable ECG-based identification. The investigations are using a database with 460 pairs of 12-lead resting electrocardiograms (ECG) with 10-s durations recorded at time-instants T1 and T2 > T1 + 1 year. Intra-subject long-term ECG stability and inter-subject variability of personalized PQRST (500 ms) and QRS (100 ms) patterns is quantified via cross-correlation, amplitude ratio and pattern matching between T1 and T2 using 7 features × 12-leads. Single and multi-lead ID models are trained on the first 230 ECG pairs. Their validation on 10, 20, ... 230 reference subjects (RS) from the remaining 230 ECG pairs shows: (i) two best single-lead ID models using lead II for a small population RS = (10–140) with identification accuracy AccID
= (89.4–67.2)% and aVF for a large population RS = (140–230) with AccID
= (67.2–63.9)%; (ii) better performance of the 6-lead limb vs. the 6-lead chest ID model—(91.4–76.1)% vs. (90.9–70)% for RS = (10–230); (iii) best performance of the 12-lead ID model—(98.4–87.4)% for RS = (10–230). The tolerable reference database size, keeping AccID
> 80%, is RS = 30 in the single-lead ID scenario (II); RS = 50 (6 chest leads); RS = 100 (6 limb leads), RS > 230—maximal population in this study (12-lead ECG).
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