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EAB Online Seminar — the detection of real and synthetic ghosts

european association for biometrics

EAB Online Seminar — the detection of real and synthetic ghosts
November 17, 2020, 12:30pm (GMT+1)

This European Association for Biometrics (EAB) online presentation gives an overview of the various approaches attempted to detect ghost fingerprints and estimate their impact on the matching process.


If on a crime scene, fingermarks are found they are compared to the criminal databases using advanced fingerprint matching algorithms and, in this way, it is possible to obtain a short list of suspects quickly.

However, when the fingerprints are recorded at the police office, sometimes traces of other fingerprints are left on the glass plate of the fingerprint sensor. Also, sometimes, the calibration of the sensor is not performed correctly and a “negative” of the previous fingerprint is stored.

The left traces are mixed with the new fingerprint forming a ghost fingerprint pattern, often called “ghost” for short. Of course, they interfere with the proper recognition of fingerprints, sometimes giving a wrong match, sometimes causing a failure to match a fingerprint.


Prof. Spreeuwers obtained his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Twente in 1992, on “Image Filtering with Neural Networks: Applications and Performance Evaluation”. Subsequently he worked at the International Institute for Aerospace and Earth Sciences (ITC) in Enschede, the University of Twente in a SION project on 3-D image analysis of aerial image sequences and in Budapest at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in a 3-D textures ERCIM project. From 1999-2005 he worked on 3-D modelling and segmentation of the human heart in MRI at the Image Sciences Institute of the University Medical Centre in Utrecht.

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