NSF awards grant for research to speed up biometrics data processing

November 22, 2016 - 

The National Science Foundation has awarded a three-year grant to a team from Clarkson University researching computer engineering to deal with the heavy workloads demanded by biometrics. In a Tuesday announcement, Clarkson University said the grant will be used to acquire a heterogeneous high-performance computing cluster for use by a four-member research team.

“Our project is a small-scale super computer with a lot of horsepower for computation ability,” said research team leader Chen Liu. “It has many servers, interconnected to look like one big machine. Research involving facial recognition, iris recognition and fingerprint recognition requires a lot of computing power, so we’re investigating how to perfect that capability and make biometrics run faster.”

Liu, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, will lead the two-part study. Liu’s team will examine the use of heterogeneous clusters to rapidly make diverse types of computations for applications that involve interfacing between physical and digital systems, as is necessary for facial tracking and recognition. It will also research algorithms to automate the division of computational labor within the cluster.

The cluster consists of integrated CPUs, GPUs, many-integrated core co-processors, and field-programmable gate arrays.

As part of the research, the group will capture privacy-protected facial images from students at the University. The lead site for the Center for Identification Technology Research (CITeR), a multi-university partnership with the NSF, is at Clarkson University.

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About Chris Burt

Chris Burt is a writer and contributor to Biometric Update. He has also written nonfiction about information technology, dramatic arts, sports culture, and fantasy basketball, as well as fiction about a doomed astronaut. He lives in Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter @AFakeChrisBurt."