Retina verification system based on biometric graph matching

Seyed Mehdi Lajevardi, Arathi Arakala, Stephen A. Davis, Kathy J. Horadam

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64 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an automatic retina verification framework based on the biometric graph matching (BGM) algorithm. The retinal vasculature is extracted using a family of matched filters in the frequency domain and morphological operators. Then, retinal templates are defined as formal spatial graphs derived from the retinal vasculature. The BGMalgorithm, a noisy graph matching algorithm, robust to translation, non-linear distortion, and small rotations, is used to compare retinal templates. The BGM algorithm uses graph topology to define three distance measures between a pair of graphs, two of which are new. A support vector machine (SVM) classifier is used to distinguish between genuine and imposter comparisons. Using single as well as multiple graph measures, the classifier achieves complete separation on a training set of images from the VARIA database (60% of the data), equaling the state-of-the-art for retina verification. Because the available data set is small, kernel density estimation (KDE) of the genuine and imposter score distributions of the training set are used to measure performance of the BGM algorithm. In the one dimensional case, the KDE model is validated with the testing set. A 0 EER on testing shows that the KDE model is a good fit for the empirical distribution. For the multiple graph measures, a novel combination of the SVM boundary and the KDE model is used to obtain a fair comparison with the KDE model for the single measure. A clear benefit in using multiple graph measures over a single measure to distinguish genuine and imposter comparisons is demonstrated by a drop in theoretical error of between 60% and more than two orders of magnitude.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3625-3635
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Image Processing
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Biometric graph matching
  • Multiple graph attributes
  • Person verification
  • Retina vessels detection
  • Retinal feature extraction

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