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  • Facial Recognition Study Released

Photonics Spectra
Apr 2003
The National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the US Department of Defense's Counterdrug Technology Development Program Office have released their evaluations of 10 commercial face-recognition systems. Their results suggest that the technology continues to improve but that its performance is dependent on the database size, the lighting conditions, the demographics of the subject and the age of the images.

In the tests, researchers compared the performance of the systems in verification, identification and "watch list" modes using a data set of 121,589 images of 37,437 individuals. Although the best system offered a verification rate of 90 percent with a false-accept rate of 1 percent in indoor conditions, they found that identification performance decreases by two to three percentage points with every doubling of the size of the database and that watch-list performance similarly decreases linearly in the logarithm of the database's size. Their findings also suggest that the systems are more adept at recognizing males and older people.

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