Skip to main content

Complex Wavelet Transform-Based Face Recognition


Complex approximately analytic wavelets provide a local multiscale description of images with good directional selectivity and invariance to shifts and in-plane rotations. Similar to Gabor wavelets, they are insensitive to illumination variations and facial expression changes. The complex wavelet transform is, however, less redundant and computationally efficient. In this paper, we first construct complex approximately analytic wavelets in the single-tree context, which possess Gabor-like characteristics. We, then, investigate the recently developed dual-tree complex wavelet transform (DT-CWT) and the single-tree complex wavelet transform (ST-CWT) for the face recognition problem. Extensive experiments are carried out on standard databases. The resulting complex wavelet-based feature vectors are as discriminating as the Gabor wavelet-derived features and at the same time are of lower dimension when compared with that of Gabor wavelets. In all experiments, on two well-known databases, namely, FERET and ORL databases, complex wavelets equaled or surpassed the performance of Gabor wavelets in recognition rate when equal number of orientations and scales is used. These findings indicate that complex wavelets can provide a successful alternative to Gabor wavelets for face recognition.

Publisher note

To access the full article, please see PDF.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Alaa Eleyan.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Eleyan, A., Özkaramanli, H. & Demirel, H. Complex Wavelet Transform-Based Face Recognition. EURASIP J. Adv. Signal Process. 2008, 185281 (2009).

Download citation


  • Facial Expression
  • Face Recognition
  • Recognition Rate
  • Analytic Wavelet
  • Gabor Wavelet