NSF CAREER Award advances biometric research; CEMR associate professor and graduate students develop biometric solutions
Arun Ross from West Virginia University’s College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, has received renewal on a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation for biometrics research focused on human recognition.
Ross, an associate professor in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, began the project in 2007 with a goal of strengthening the fundamentals of biometrics by designing robust methods for biometric recognition, indexing and fusion.
Two prominent contributions of this research include biometric privacy and multibiometric indexing.
Ross and Asem Othman, a CEMR Ph.D. student, have designed a novel method to extend privacy to face images and other biometric cues stored in a biometric system. Due to the sensitive nature of biometric data such as fingerprints and face images, this new method helps to ensure privacy and to protect the data from misuse. This is done by strategically splitting and storing each biometric image on multiple database servers instead of keeping the information in a single location.
In another study, Ross and Ph.D. student Aglika Gyaourova, have designed methods for quickly searching multibiometric databases. Multibiometric databases contain information about different biometric cues of each individual and can hold information relating to millions of biometric traits. By indexing the databases, Ross and Gyaourova have simplified the search procedure, making it possible to quickly and accurately identify a person based on the stored biometric information. Several government agencies have expressed interest in the proposed method.
“This grant has enabled us to pursue research on some important topics in biometrics,” said Ross. “It has also allowed us to develop solutions for some operational aspects of biometric systems.”
A native of Chennai, India, Ross was designated a Kavli Frontiers Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences in 2006. He is the co-author of the book “Handbook of Multibiometrics” and co-editor of “Handbook of Biometrics.” Ross is an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Image Processing and the IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security.
Ross received a B.E. (Hons) degree in computer science from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani and a master’s and doctorate in computer science and engineering from Michigan State University. He has been on the WVU faculty since 2003.
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