Skip to content


  • Research Article
  • Open Access

Intersubject Differences in False Nonmatch Rates for a Fingerprint-Based Authentication System

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20092009:896383

  • Received: 4 September 2008
  • Accepted: 7 July 2009
  • Published:


The intersubject dependencies of false nonmatch rates were investigated for a minutiae-based biometric authentication process using single enrollment and verification measurements. A large number of genuine comparison scores were subjected to statistical inference tests that indicated that the number of false nonmatches depends on the subject and finger under test. This result was also observed if subjects associated with failures to enroll were excluded from the test set. The majority of the population (about 90%) showed a false nonmatch rate that was considerably smaller than the average false nonmatch rate of the complete population. The remaining 10% could be characterized as "goats due to their relatively high probability for a false nonmatch. The image quality reported by the template extraction module only weakly correlated with the genuine comparison scores. When multiple verification attempts were investigated, only a limited benefit was observed for "goats, since the conditional probability for a false nonmatch given earlier nonsuccessful attempts increased with the number of attempts. These observations suggest that (1) there is a need for improved identification of "goats during enrollment (e.g., using dedicated signal-driven analysis and classification methods and/or the use of multiple enrollment images) and (2) there should be alternative means for identity verification in the biometric system under test in case of two subsequent false nonmatches.


  • Enrollment Image
  • Full Article
  • Authentication Process
  • Publisher Note
  • Authentication System

Publisher note

To access the full article, please see PDF.

Authors’ Affiliations

Philips Research, HTC 34 MS61, 5656, AE, Eindhoven, The Netherlands


© Jeroen Breebaart et al. 2009

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.