Importance of being unique from finger dorsal patterns: Exploring minor finger knuckle patterns in verifying human identities

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44 Citations (Scopus)


Automated biometrics identification using finger knuckle images has increasingly generated interest among researchers with emerging applications in human forensics and biometrics. Prior efforts in the biometrics literature have only investigated the major finger knuckle patterns that are formed on the finger surface joining proximal phalanx and middle phalanx bones. This paper investigates the possible use of minor finger knuckle patterns, which are formed on the finger surface joining distal phalanx and middle phalanx bones. The minor finger knuckle patterns can either be used as independent biometric patterns or employed to improve the performance from the major finger knuckle patterns. A completely automated approach for the minor finger knuckle identification is developed with key steps for region of interest segmentation, image normalization, enhancement, and robust matching to accommodate image variations. This paper also introduces a new or first publicly available database for minor (also major) finger knuckle images from 503 different subjects. The efforts to develop an automated minor finger knuckle pattern matching scheme achieve promising results and illustrate its simultaneous use to significantly improve the performance over the conventional finger knuckle identification. Several open questions on the stability and uniqueness of finger knuckle patterns should be addressed before knuckle pattern/image evidence can be admissible as supportive evidence in a court of law. Therefore, this paper also presents a study on the stability of finger knuckle patterns from images acquired with an interval of 4-7 years. The experimental results and the images presented in this paper provide new insights on the finger knuckle pattern and identify the need for further work to exploit finger knuckle patterns in forensics and biometrics applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6825833
Pages (from-to)1288-1298
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • biometrics fusion
  • finger dorsal biometrics
  • Finger knuckle biometrics
  • knuckle segmentation
  • major finger knuckle
  • minor finger knuckle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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