NIST rates recognition systems

After testing 14 facial recognition products, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has identified software from Cognetic Networks Inc. of Houston, Eyematic of Los Angeles and Identix Inc. of Minnetonka, Minn., as the most reliable.

For its Face Recognition Vendor Test 2002, NIST evaluated facial recognition software by comparing 121,589 images of 37,437 people, an extremely large data set.

The USA Patriot Act of 2001 mandated that NIST do the tests as part of a broader initiative to use biometric systems at border crossings. The agency ran the tests in July and August at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Va.

The three top-rated systems verified identities correctly 87 percent to 90 percent of the time, with a false-alarm rate of 1 percent. When NIST specified a false-alarm rate of 0.1 percent, the success rate dropped to between 79 percent and 82 percent.

 

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