What do developers discuss about biometric APIs?

Jin Zhe, Kong Yik Chee, Xin Xia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


With the emergence of biometric technology in various applications, such as access control (e.g. mobile lock/unlock), financial transaction (e.g. Alibaba smile-to-pay) and time attendance, the development of biometric system attracts increasingly interest to the developers. Despite a sound biometric system gains the security assurance and great usability, it is a rather challenging task to develop an effective biometric system. For instance, many public available biometric APIs do not provide sufficient instructions/precise documentations on the usage of biometric APIs. Many developers are struggling in implementing these APIs in various tasks. Moreover, quick update on biometric-based algorithms (e.g. feature extraction and matching) may propagate to APIs, which leads to potential confusion to the system developers. Hence, we conduct an empirical study to the problems that the developers currently encountered while implementing the biometric APIs as well as the issues that need to be addressed when developing biometric systems using these APIs. We manually analyzed a total of 500 biometric API-related posts from various online media such as Stack Overflow and Neurotechnology. We reveal that 1) most of the problems encountered are related to the lack of precise documentation on the biometric APIs; 2) the incompatibility of biometric APIs cross multiple implementation environments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2019 IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution, ICSME 2019
EditorsMiryung Kim, Árpád Beszédes
Place of PublicationPiscataway NJ USA
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781728130941
ISBN (Print)9781728130958
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventIEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution 2019 - Cleveland, United States of America
Duration: 30 Sept 20194 Oct 2019
Conference number: 35th
https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/conhome/8910135/proceeding (Proceedings)


ConferenceIEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution 2019
Abbreviated titleICSME 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
Internet address


  • APIs misuse
  • Biometrics
  • Empirical software engineering

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