In the last decade, there has been a surge of interest in addressing complex Computer Vision (CV) problems in the field of face recognition (FR). In particular, one of the most difficult ones is based on the accurate determination of the ethnicity of mankind. In this regard, a new classification method using Machine Learning (ML) tools is proposed in this paper. Specifically, a new Deep Learning (DL) approach based on a Deep Convolutional Neural Network (DCNN) model is developed, which outperforms a reliable determination of the ethnicity of people based on their facial features. However, it is necessary to make use of specialized high-performance computing (HPC) hardware to build a workable DCNN-based FR system due to the low computation power given by the current central processing units (CPUs). Recently, the latter approach has increased the efficiency of the network in terms of power usage and execution time. Then, the usage of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) was considered in this work. The performance of the new DCNN-based FR method using FPGA was compared against that using graphics processing units (GPUs). The experimental results considered an image dataset composed of 3141 photographs of citizens from three distinct countries. To our knowledge, this is the first image collection gathered specifically to address the ethnicity identification problem. Additionally, the ethnicity dataset was made publicly available as a novel contribution to this work. Finally, the experimental results proved the high performance provided by the proposed DCNN model using FPGAs, achieving an accuracy level of 96.9 percent and an F1 score of 94.6 percent while using a reasonable amount of energy and hardware resources.
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