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Facial Marks as Biometric Signatures to Distinguish between Identical Twins

NCJ Number
Proc. CVPR Workshop on Biometrics Dated: June 2011 Pages: 106-113
Date Published
June 2011
8 pages

This project examined the usefulness of facial marks as biometric signatures, with a focus on distinguishing between identical twins.


There is a high degree of similarity in facial appearance between identical twins that makes it difficult for even the state-of-the-art face matching systems to distinguish between them. Given the consistent increase in the number of twin births in recent decades, there is a need to develop alternate approaches to characterize facial appearance that can address this challenging task that has eluded even humans. The current study defined and characterized a set of facial marks that were manually annotated by multiple observers. The geometric distribution of annotated facial marks, along with their respective categories, were used to characterize twin face images. The analysis was conducted on 295 twin face images acquired at the Twins Days Festival at Twinsburg, Ohio, in 2009. The results of the analysis signify the usefulness of distribution of facial marks as a biometric signature. In addition, contrary to prior research, the results indicate some degree of correlation between positions of facial marks belonging to identical twins. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: June 1, 2011