Median fisher discriminator: A robust feature extraction method with applications to biometrics

Jian Yang, Jingyu Yang, Dapeng Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


In existing Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) models, the class population mean is always estimated by the class sample average. In small sample size problems, such as face and palm recognition, however, the class sample average does not suffice to provide an accurate estimate of the class population mean based on a few of the given samples, particularly when there are outliers in the training set. To overcome this weakness, the class median vector is used to estimate the class population mean in LDA modeling. The class median vector has two advantages over the class sample average: (1) the class median (image) vector preserves useful details in the sample images, and (2) the class median vector is robust to outliers that exist in the training sample set. In addition, a weighting mechanism is adopted to refine the characterization of the within-class scatter so as to further improve the robustness of the proposed model. The proposed Median Fisher Discriminator (MFD) method was evaluated using the Yale and the AR face image databases and the PolyU (Polytechnic University) palmprint database. The experimental results demonstrated the robustness and effectiveness of the proposed method.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-305
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers of Computer Science in China
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2008


  • Biometrics
  • Face recognition
  • Feature extraction
  • Fisher linear discriminant analysis (LDA)
  • Palm recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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