Fingerprint Image Enhancement and Minutiae Extraction

Raymond Thai

Honours 2003


Fingerprints are the oldest and most widely used form of biometric identification. Despite the widespread use of fingerprints, there is little statistical theory on the uniqueness of fingerprint minutiae. A critical step in studying the statistics of fingerprint minutiae is to reliably extract minutiae from the fingerprint images. However, fingerprint images are rarely of perfect quality. They may be degraded and corrupted due to variations in skin and impression conditions. Thus, image enhancement techniques are employed prior to minutiae extraction to obtain a more reliable estimation of minutiae locations.

In this dissertation, I firstly provide discussion on the methodology and implementation of techniques for fingerprint image enhancement and minutiae extraction. Experiments using a mixture of both synthetic test images and real fingerprint images are then conducted to evaluate the performance of the implemented techniques. In combination with these techniques, preliminary results on the statistics of fingerprint images are then presented and discussed.

Keywords: fingerprint, image enhancement, filtering, minutiae extraction, image postprocessing, fingerprint statistics.