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Department of Computer Science Colloquium
2019 Series

Biometric Technologies for Forensic Science

Prof. Massimo Tistarelli
Computer Vision Laboratory
University of Sassari

Date: January 11, 2019 (Friday)
Time: 10:30 - 11:30 am
Venue: SCT909, Cha Chi Ming Science Tower, Ho Sin Hang Campus

In the last decades, biometric technologies have been applied in forensic investigations only to a limited extent. A number of factors have hindered the wider adoption of these technologies to operational scenarios. However, there have been a number of successful applications where biometric technologies were crucial for suspect identification or to provide evidence in court cases. Given the great potential of biometric technologies for “objective” and quantitative evidence evaluation, it would be desirable to see a wider deployment of these technologies, in a standardized manner, among police forces and forensic institutes.

For example, over time technology provided several instruments to automate the fingerprint matching process, also increasing the speed and accuracy. Since the late 90’s, with the aid of increased computation power and reduced size of computing machines, the IAFIS systems dramatically improved their performances, allowing forensic experts to match and inspect hundreds of thousands of fingerprints every day. As an example, the IAFIS currently working at FBI allows forensic experts to match around 150,000 tenprints with a database of over 100 million subjects every day. The current TAR is 99.6% with a FAR of 0.103% . Such a workload would not be possible with human inspectors alone.

Innovation does not only influence the speed and accuracy of the identification process alone, but also the possibility to:

1. handle different traces and their combination, including face pictures, action videos, speech, DNA, iris, palmprints, footprints, skin marks, and etc.
2. perform a fully automated identification of suspects in “lights out” mode.

Current biometric technology is offering a plethora of solutions to handle many different traces. However, not all state of the art technologies are currently deployed in forensic investigations.

In this talk we try to identify some avenues to facilitate the application of advanced biometric technologies in forensic practice. Despite of their impressive performance, some recent biometric technologies have never been applied to forensic evaluation. Other technologies need adaptations to be ready for the forensic field. We postulate that there is a challenge to be faced with more advanced tools and testing on operational data. This will require a joint effort involving stakeholders and scientists from multiple disciplines as well as a greater involvement of forensic institutes and police scientific departments.

Massimo Tistarelli received the Phd in Computer Science and Robotics in 1991 from the University of Genoa. He is Full Professor in Computer Science (with tenure) and director of the Computer Vision Laboratory at the University of Sassari, Italy. Since 1986 he has been involved as project coordinator and task manager in several projects on computer vision and biometrics funded by the European Community. Since 1994 he has been the director of the Computer Vision Laboratory at the Department of Communication, Computer and Systems Science of the University of Genoa, and now at the University of Sassari, leading several National and European projects on computer vision applications and image-based biometrics. He is a founding member of the Biosecure Foundation, which includes all major European research centers working in biometrics. His main research interests cover biological and artificial vision (particularly in the area of recognition, three-dimensional reconstruction and dynamic scene analysis), pattern recognition, biometrics, visual sensors, robotic navigation and visuo-motor coordination. He is coauthor of more than 150 scientific papers in peer reviewed books, conferences and international journals. He is the principal editor for the Springer book “Handbook of Remote Biometrics”, published in June 2009. Prof. Tistarelli is one of the world-recognized leading researchers in the area of biometrics, especially in the field of face recognition and multimodal fusion. Prof. Tistarelli is associate editor for the journals IEEE Transactions on PAMI, IET Biometrics, Image and Vision Computing and Pattern Recognition Letters. Since 2003 he is the founding director for the Int.l Summer School on Biometrics (now at the 16th edition – He is the Scientific Director of the Italian Platform for Biometric Technologies, Fellow member of IAPR and Senior member of IEEE.

********* ALL INTERESTED ARE WELCOME ***********
(For enquiry, please contact Computer Science Department at 3411 2385)
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