Is spectral reflectance of the face a reliable biometric?

M. Uzair, Arif Mahmood, Faisal Shafait, C. Nansen, Ajmal Mian

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    Over a decade ago, Pan et al. [IEEE TPAMI 25, 1552 (2003)] performed face recognition using only the spectral reflectance of the face at six points and reported around 95% recognition rate. Since their database is private, no one has been able to replicate these results. Moreover, due to the unavailability of public datasets, there has been no detailed study in the literature on the viability of facial spectral reflectance for person identification. In this study, we introduce a new public database of facial spectral reflectance profiles measured with a high precision spectrometer. For each of the 40 subjects, spectral reflectance was measured at the same six points as Pan et al. [IEEE TPAMI 25, 1552 (2003)] in multiple sessions and with time lapse. Furthermore, we sample the facial spectral reflectance from two public hyperspectral face image datasets and analyzed the data using state of the art face classification techniques. The best performing classifier achieved the maximum rank-1 identification rate of 53.8%. We conclude that facial spectral reflectance alone is not a reliable biometric for unconstrained face recognition.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)15160-15173
    JournalOptics Express
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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