Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The use of an ‘average face’ drastically improves facial recognition

12.09.2007
Recent research shows that humans are surprisingly poor at matching a face in a photograph to that seen in real life. The situation is the same with automatic face recognition systems. In today’s surveillance society, correct photo identification is of the utmost importance and with the government’s proposed identity card scheme expected to begin in 200, the ID issue is highly controversial.

Researchers from the University of Glasgow, led by Dr Rob Jenkins and Professor Mike Burton, have developed a new technology that drastically improves the success of both human and automated systems at matching a face to a photo. Dr Jenkins spoke about this work at the BA Festival of Science on Tuesday at The BA Joseph Lister Award Lecture.

The team worked on the principle that the more familiar a person is with the face in question, the easier it is for them to recognise the face in a photograph. They collected different images of each person’s face and averaged them to make one image. Only 10 – 11 photos were required to stabilise the image, with any extra images after that making little difference. The average face image was also surprisingly resilient to errors, even with the ‘contamination’ of a third of the faces being of other people, the average face hardly changed.

Dr Jenkins said: ‘The resulting images are quite uncanny, seeming to bring out the true essence of each face.’

The averaged faces were then checked against the individual faces from which they were made. Both humans and machines were significantly better at recognising the average picture. Jenkins explained: ‘This is because the averaging process washes out aspects of the image that are unhelpful, such as lighting effects, while consolidating aspects of the image that are diagnostic of identity, such as the physical structure of the face.’

With the proposed identity card scheme looming, the breakthrough of better-than-photo recognition accuracy raises the question of whether face databases and ID documents should contain identity averages, rather than standard photographs.

‘This boost in face recognition accuracy has major implications for crime prevention and national security policies. It also demonstrates that with face recognition, as with so many other problems, we can improve machine performance by mimicking nature's solution,' said Dr Jenkins.

Dr Rob Jenkins gave his talk, ‘Identity and mistaken identity: face recognition in a surveillance society’ on 11 September at Physics PX/001, University of York as part of the BA Festival of Science.

The opportunity to present a popular and prestigious BA award lecture at the Festival of Science is offered to five outstanding communicators each year. The award lectures aim to promote open and informed discussion on issues involving science and actively encourage young scientists to explore the social aspects of their research, providing them with reward and recognition for doing so.

The BA Festival of Science will be in York from 9-15 September, bringing over 350 of the UK’s top scientists and engineers to discuss the latest developments in science with the public. In addition to talks and debates at the University of York, there will be a host of events throughout the city.

For further information about the BA Festival of Science, including an online programme, visit www.the-ba.net/festivalofscience.

This year’s BA Festival of Science is organised by the BA (British Association for the Advancement of Science) in partnership with the University of York, Science City York and the City of York Council. It is supported by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, BP and Yorkshire Forward.

Lisa Hendry | alfa
Further information:
http://www.the-ba.net

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Smart Manual Workstations Deliver More Flexible Production
04.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>