biometric system is essentially a pattern recognition system which
makes a personal identification by determining the authenticity of a
specific physiological or behavioral characteristic possessed by the
user. An important issue in designing a practical system is to
determine how an individual is identified. Depending on the context,
a biometric system can be either a verification (authentication)
system or an identification system.
There are two different ways to resolve a person's identity:
verification and identification. Verification (Am I whom I claim I
am?) involves confirming or denying a person's claimed identity. In
identification, one has to establish a person's identity (Who am
I?). Each one of these approaches has it's own complexities and
could probably be solved best by a certain biometric system.
In day-to-day life most people with whom
you do business verify your identity. You claim to be someone (your
claimed identity) and then provide proof to back up your claim. For
encounters with friends and family, there is no need to claim an
identity. Instead, those familiar to you identify you, determining
your identity upon seeing your face or hearing your voice.
These two examples illustrate the
difference between the two primary uses of biometrics:
identification and verification.
Identification (1:N, one-to-many,
recognition) Ė The process of determining a personís identity by
performing matches against multiple biometric templates.
Identification systems are designed to determine identity based
solely on biometric information. There are two types of
identification systems: positive identification and negative
identification. Positive identification systems are designed to find
a match for a userís biometric information in a database of