Sweat pores on the human fingertip have meaningful patterns that enable individual identification. Although conventional automatic fingerprint identification systems (AFIS) have mainly employed the minutiae features to match fingerprints, there has been minimal research that uses sweat pores to match fingerprints. Recently, high-resolution optical sensors and pore-based fingerprint systems have become available, which motivates research on pore analysis. However, most existing pore-based AFIS methods use the minutia-ridge information and image pixel distribution, which limit their applications. In this context, this paper presents a stable pore matching algorithm which effectively removes both the minutia-ridge and fingerprint-device dependencies. Experimental results show that the proposed pore matching algorithm is more accurate for general fingerprint images and robust under noisy conditions compared with existing methods. The proposed method can be used to improve the performance of AFIS combined with the conventional minutiae-based methods. Since sweat pores can also be observed using various systems, removing of the fingerprint-device dependency will make the pore-based AFIS useful for wide applications including forensic science, which matches the latent fingerprint to the fingerprint image in databases.
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