Open Access

Robust Face Image Matching under Illumination Variations

  • Chyuan-Huei Thomas Yang1Email author,
  • Shang-Hong Lai1 and
  • Long-Wen Chang1
EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20042004:769050

Received: 1 September 2003

Published: 2 December 2004


Face image matching is an essential step for face recognition and face verification. It is difficult to achieve robust face matching under various image acquisition conditions. In this paper, a novel face image matching algorithm robust against illumination variations is proposed. The proposed image matching algorithm is motivated by the characteristics of high image gradient along the face contours. We define a new consistency measure as the inner product between two normalized gradient vectors at the corresponding locations in two images. The normalized gradient is obtained by dividing the computed gradient vector by the corresponding locally maximal gradient magnitude. Then we compute the average consistency measures for all pairs of the corresponding face contour pixels to be the robust matching measure between two face images. To alleviate the problem due to shadow and intensity saturation, we introduce an intensity weighting function for each individual consistency measure to form a weighted average of the consistency measure. This robust consistency measure is further extended to integrate multiple face images of the same person captured under different illumination conditions, thus making our robust face matching algorithm. Experimental results of applying the proposed face image matching algorithm on some well-known face datasets are given in comparison with some existing face recognition methods. The results show that the proposed algorithm consistently outperforms other methods and achieves higher than 93% recognition rate with three reference images for different datasets under different lighting conditions.

Keywords and phrases

robust image matchingface recognitionillumination variationsnormalized gradient

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Computer Science, National Tsing Hua University


© Yang et al. 2004