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Human Ear as Identity Card

A. Basit
TPPD, Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan
Email: abdulbasit1975@gmail.com
Abstract- In this paper human ear is used as identity card. A
new ear recognition method is proposed based on wavelet
transform. Ear sub-image is cropped from the image. It is
normalized to get the same sized feature vector and a very simple
technique is followed for feature extraction. Various wavelet
transforms are applied at different levels and matching is carried
out using Euclidean distance. Correct recognition results
achieved using the proposed method are up to 99.2%.
Keywords: Ear recognition, wavelet transform, biometrics.
I. INTRODUCTION
Biometrics is the branch of science which deals with
automatic identification of human beings based on their
physiological or behavioral characteristics [1]. It is well
established fact that biometrics has many advantages over the
traditional methods of identification such as passwords and
identity cards. Passwords or pin numbers can be forgotten or
shared; identity cards can be stolen, misplaced or shared etc.
There are no such problems with the use of biometrics.
Therefore biometrics has a big role to play in most of security
systems.
In the last two to three decades biometrics has advanced
much further and various biometric methods of identification
have been developed. Currently used biometrics are keystroke,
speech [2], signature [3], finger print [4], DNA, face [5], hand
geometry [6], retinal scan, vascular pattern, iris [7] and Ear [8-
11]. Ear is a relatively new biometrics and is becoming
increasingly popular. It has certain advantages over other
biometrics. For example, (a) Ear is rich in features and is a
stable structure as compared to face. (b) It does not change
with age. (c) Does not change with facial expressions. (d) The
image of ear is much smaller than the image of other
biometrics which is a distinct advantage in terms of memory
and processing time.
For any new class of biometric to be acceptable, it has to be
unique. The uniqueness of ear has been contested since it was
proposed as biometrics by Iannarelli [12] who used manual
techniques to identify ear images. Alfred Iannarelli [12]
studied 10,000 ears and found that no two ears were the same.
A second study carried out by Iannarelli was on twins both
identical and non-identical where again the conclusion was in
favor of ears being unique.
II. RELATED WORK
Victor et al. [13] and Chang et al. [14] used eigen ear for
identification. The results obtained were different in both
cases. Changs results show no difference in ear and face
performance while victors results show that ear performance
is worse than face. According to Chang [14] views the
difference in result might be due to usage of different image
quality. Moreno et al. [10] used 2D intensity images of ears
with three neural net approaches (Borda, Bayesian, Weighted
Bayesian combination) for recognition. In his work, 6 images
from 28 people were used to evaluate the recognition rate of
about 93%. Chen et al. [15] studied two steps iterative closest
point algorithm on 30 people with their 3D ear images that
were manually extracted. The results reveal 2 incorrect
matching out of 60 images.
A new ear recognition approach using coefficients of
different wavelets transforms is proposed in this paper. Eight
different families of wavelet are used to extract features.
Euclidean distance is calculated for matching. The remainder
of this paper is organized as follows: Proposed method of
research is given in Section 3 and experimental results are
reported in Section 4 whereas Section 5 concludes the paper.
III. PROPOSED METHOD
After image acquisition, there are three main steps in an ear
recognition system; Preprocessing, Feature Extraction and
Matching.
Enrollment is the first stage to identify a person, in which
feature vectors are stored in the database. A certain number of
images of the person are used for this purpose. After
preprocessing, feature vectors are stored in the database for
comparison at later time. This process is termed as training.
Test image of the same person pass through the same process
as in training phase except that instead of storing the feature
vector in database, it is compared with the stored feature
vectors and decision is based on minimum Euclidean distance
between the test feature vector and stored feature vectors.
A. Preprocessing
In preprocessing step, segmentation, normalization and
conversion to grayscale are exploited. For segmentation, ear
image is cropped from the original image which contains head
of the person. Normalization is carried out to get the same size
of feature vector for every ear image. For this purpose,
cropped ear image is resized to a specific size. This process
cater the changes occurred due to different sizes of the ear
images. Normalized image is converted to grayscale image to
make the feature extraction process fast.
The technique adopted for ear recognition in this paper is
explained by Figure 1. It can be seen in figure 1 that each
image has gone through the following steps before feature
extraction:
Proceedings of International Bhurban Conference on Applied Sciences & Technology
Islamabad, Pakistan, 11 14 January, 2010 192
Enrollment Image
Database
Feature
Vectors
Decision
Feature Extraction
Approximation
Coefficient of
Wavelets Transform
Preprocessing
Cropping
Normalization
Grayscale conversion
Matching
Euclidean Distance
Test Image
Figure 1: Steps of the proposed method
Ear image is cropped manually from the complete head
image of a person.
Cropped ear image is resized.
The colored ear image is converted to grayscale image.
Same number of features from each ear image is required to
make consistency in feature vectors. Images are normalized by
changing their size to a specific size. Therefore, each image is
resized to a fixed size of 6464 pixels. Each image was
converted from RGB to grayscale and sent to feature
extraction module. Figure 2 demonstrates the output at the end
of preprocessing step. Figure 2(a) shows the actual image in
the database and cropped image is visible in Figure 2(b)
whereas Figure 2 (c) and Figure 2 (d) are the resized cropped
images with RGB and grayscale respectively.
Figure 2: (a) Original image (b) Cropped ear image (c) Resized image (d)
Gray scale image
B. Feature Extraction
After normalizing the ear images, next step is feature
extraction. A new technique is implemented for feature
extraction using various types wavelet transforms. The
wavelets transforms include, Haar, Daubechies, Symlets,
Meyer, Biorthogonal, Reverse Biorthagonal and Coiflets.
These wavelet transforms are applied to two sets of databases,
namely the University of Notre Dame (UND) ear database [16]
and ear database of Technical University of Madrid (TUM)
[17] are used, both at level 1 and level 2. Wavelet
decomposition of a normalized ear image is shown in Figure 3.
In Figure 3 (a), upper left and right parts are the images from
approximation coefficients and horizontal details respectively,
whereas lower left and right parts are the images
corresponding to vertical and diagonal detail of the
decomposed image. The approximation coefficients are stored
in a row vector instead of a matrix, which is the desired
feature of the processed ear image. These feature vectors are
used for training the database. Feature vectors of trained
images are stored in the database.
C. Matching
For matching, feature vector of test image is calculated.
Euclidean distance for all the trained feature vectors in the
database and the test image is calculated. The image
corresponding to the minimum value of Euclidean distance
matches with the image under consideration.
(a) (b)
Figure 3: Wavelet decomposition of normalized image using (a) level 1, (b)
level 2
IV. EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The proposed method is implemented in MATLAB 7.5 on a
PC with 2.13 GHz Intel Core 2 processor and 1.0 GB RAM.
In experiments, images from the UND ear database [16] and
TUM [17] are used. UND Ear database [16] contains 464
images of 114 subjects with 12001600 pixels resolution with
ear side view at Yaw of -90 and -75. A set of 32 people is used
for experiments having six or more images each. The database
from TUM [17] has also been tested using the proposed
method. The results are collected on recognition rates using
various types of wavelets both at level 1 and level 2. Figure 4,
5, 6 and Figure 7 show the results with number of training
images versus correct recognition rate. It is clear from the
tables that as the number of training image is increased, it
increases the recognition rate. For two training images, the
correct recognition rate achieved for TUM database is 96.08%
Proceedings of International Bhurban Conference on Applied Sciences & Technology
Islamabad, Pakistan, 11 14 January, 2010 193
both at level 1 and level 2 for all types of wavelets used,
please see Figure 4 and Figure 5for more details.
Figure 4: Results for TUM database using wavelets at level 1
Figure 5: Results for TUM database using wavelets at level 2
When the system is trained on three images the accuracy
reaches as high as 99.02% at level 2 and 98.04% at level 1.
Similarly, 100% accuracy is achieved when the number of
training images is increased to five. The results for recognition
rates obtained for UND database are given in Figure 6 and
Figure 7.
It can be seen from these two tables that the accuracy for
UND database is not as high as it is for TUM database. The
accuracy achieved is 95.31% when the number of training
images is five. The main reason for the difference in accuracy
is the orientation of ear images and the angle of the camera
with the ear in the UND database. In TUMdatabase all images
are properly aligned and all ears are orthogonal to the camera
whereas ear images from UND database are manually cropped
and are not properly aligned. Moreover each ear, captured
twice, has pictures taken at three different angles with respect
to the camera. Figure 8 shows the time utilized in training and
recognition using the TUM ear database with different number
of training images while the applied wavelet is dmey at
level 1.
Figure 6: Results for UND database using wavelets at level 1
Figure 7: Results for UND database using wavelets at level 2
The results are compared with the work done by other
researcher in the same field using various techniques (see
Table I). Proposed method performs better than Moreno et al.
[10], Chen & Bhanu [8], Islam et al. [11], and Xie & Mu [18].
Their recognition results are less than 98% whereas our
method has correct recognition rate up to 99.01% which is
lower than Hurley & Nixon [9]. Moreno et al. [10] applied the
Neural Network technique for training the system which is
very time consuming process. Chen & Bhanu [8] quoted two
incorrect matches out of 60 images (i.e. 96.6%) based on
contour matching. Number of images used by Chen is very
Proceedings of International Bhurban Conference on Applied Sciences & Technology
Islamabad, Pakistan, 11 14 January, 2010 194
TABLE I
COMPARISON OF RESULTS WITH OTHER METHODS
S
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.

N
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a
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S
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T
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t
r
a
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i
m
a
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e
s
T
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a
l

t
e
s
t

i
m
a
g
e
s
A
c
c
u
r
a
c
y
1
Hurley &
Nixon [9]
PCA 63 254 63 63 99.2%
2
Moreno et
al. [10]
Neural
Net
28 168 140 28 93%
3
Chen &
Bhanu [8]
ICP 30 60 30 30 96.6%
4
Islam et
al. [11]
ICP 100 200 100 100 96%
5
Xie & Mu
[18]
Improve
d LLE
79 632 553 79
60.75
%
6 Proposed
Approxi
mation
coefficie
nts
32 192 96 96 82.29%
17 102 51 51 99.02%
small. Islam et al. [11] observed 3D local features on the range
images using iterative closest point algorithm and reported
maximum recognition rate of 96%. Xie & Mu [18] used
Locally Linear Embedding (LLE), an unsupervised algorithm
and found that it is not suitable for ear recognition.
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
1 2 3 4 5
T
i
m
e
(
s
e
c
No. of Training Images
Time utilization for "dmey" wavelet
using TUM Database
Training Time Rrecognition Time
Figure 8: Time utilization for complete TUM
They have improved LLE algorithm to raise recognition rate
from 43.03% to 60.75%. This is the lowest recognition rate
while comparing with other researchers even though the
number of training images (total 553 images, 6 for each
subject) is high. Main reason for such low recognition rate is
that only one image per subject is used as test image. Hurley
[9] used force field transformation for feature extraction based
on potential channels and potential well to obtain 99.2%
recognition rate. All of the mentioned methods have complex
processes for obtaining feature vectors which are very time
consuming whereas proposed method has the simplest feature
extraction procedure and achieved comparable results in less
time.
V. CONCLUSIONS
In this paper a new method of human recognition is
proposed based on ear images using wavelet transforms.
Proposed method is applied to two databases namely
Technical University of Madrid database and University of
Notre Dame ear database. Eight different types of wavelet
transforms have been investigated and achieved an accuracy
of up to 99.02% for one of the databases. A very simple
method of feature extraction is proposed which helps to
reduce the time utilized in obtaining features from the ear
images and as expected, when the number of training images
increases the recognition accuracy increases for all the wavelet
types. The increase in accuracy is almost the same for all types
of wavelet. In light of time analysis, it is recommended that
probably it would be a good idea to use wavelet transforms
db1 or db2 if time is going to play a role in your project as
on average these two wavelet transforms have consumed
lesser time during the recognition and the training process.
The wavelet transform dmey turned out to be very slow but
with highest recognition rate. The dmey took approximately
three times more time than db1 or db2 wavelets.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
Author would like to thanks computer vision and research
laboratory at the University of Notre Dame for providing
public biometric ear database Collection Set E on request.
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