Disambiguation of Fingerprint Ridge Flow Direction—Two Approaches

  • Robert O. Hastings
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5575)


One of the challenges to be overcome in automated fingerprint matching is the construction of a ridge pattern representation that encodes all the relevant information while discarding unwanted detail. Research published recently has shown how this might be achieved by representing the ridges and valleys as a periodic wave. However, deriving such a representation requires assigning a consistent unambiguous direction field to the ridge flow, a task complicated by the presence of singular points in the flow pattern. This disambiguation problem appears to have received very little attention.

We discuss two approaches to this problem — one involving construction of branch cuts, the other using a divide-and-conquer approach, and show how either of these techniques can be used to obtain a consistent flow direction map, which then enables the construction of a phase based representation of the ridge pattern.


Singular Point Fingerprint Image Chain Code Phase Representation Helmholtz Decomposition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Bazen, A.M., Gerez, S.H.: Systematic Methods for the Computation of the Directional Fields and Singular Points of Fingerprints. IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence 24(7), 905–919 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Joseph, D.: Helmholtz Decomposition Coupling Rotational to Irrotational Flow of a Viscous Fluid, (retrieved May 6, 2008)
  3. Larkin, K.G., Fletcher, P.A.: A Coherent Framework for Fingerprint Analysis: Are Fingerprints Holograms? Optics Express 15(14), 8667–8677 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Maltoni, M., Maio, D., Jain, A.K., Prabhakar, S.: Handbook of Fingerprint Recognition. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  5. Ratha, N.K., Chen, S., Jain, A.K.: Adaptive Flow Orientation-Based Feature Extraction in Fingerprint Images. Pattern Recognition 28(11), 1657–1672 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Sherlock, B.G., Monro, D.M.: A Model for Interpreting Fingerprint Topology. Pattern Recognition 26(7), 1047–1054 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Shi, Z., Govindaraju, V.: A Chaincode Based Scheme for Fingerprint Feature Extraction. Pattern Recognition Letters 27, 462–468 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert O. Hastings
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Computer Science and Software EngineeringThe University of Western AustraliaAustralia

Personalised recommendations