ESR 6: Making mobile biometrics more reliable

Objectives: There is an urgent need to ensure that the usability aspects of biometric implementation are optimised for a mobile environment and users, especially considering age (e.g. elderly people, teenagers), capabilities (e.g. disabilities), habituation/familiarity (e.g. technology advocates vs. novices) and technology acceptance (in terms of easiness of use, anxiety and possible relations to criminology). To date there is very little research on the influence of psychological factors of use on biometric reliability, however existing studies report that the ease of interaction with machines significantly influences final effects. During this three year project the ESR will research various aspects of usability of mobile biometric systems. This research includes technological aspects related to robustness of the biometric methods to age factors, namely aging of biometric data as well as age-related impairments in biometric characteristics, and social/psychological aspects related to human-computer interfaces (ease in interfacing with the technology and its acceptance). The ESR will conduct a longitudinal study (with appropriate data collection) related to the biometric aging and interfaces for iris, face, fingerprint and handwritten signatures methods operating on mobile platforms (two or three biometric methods will be selected by the ESR). Aging-related research will include not only the biological source of this phenomenon but also the subject’s capabilities, habituation and trust to the technology gained in time of its usage. This research will provide information for optimal mobile-biometric interfaces leveraging the reliability of biometric recognition in mobile scenarios.

Expected Results: Firstly, we expect to gain a better understanding of how people interact with mobile biometric devices, how this interaction influences the biometric reliability, how this interaction changes in time, what kind of age-related biological factors impacts the system accuracy (both short-term related to daily use, and long-term counted in months or years), and finally how to help people with different technological background and disabilities to use the mobile biometric technologies optimally. The ESR will be responsible for collecting appropriate data spanning at least a two-year period (for the same users) and deploying different interfaces that allow for conducting this research. Appropriate interfaces and data processing methods for the selected biometric modalities will be proposed as the final outcome of the project.

Planned secondment(s): Two secondments would take place within this project. The first five-month secondment would be with UNIKENT wherein the ESR would engage in usability testing of multi-biometric mobile systems leveraging specific expertise in behavioural-biometrics, especially handwritten signature recognition. The expected result of this secondment is a middle-term (spanning a two-month period) analysis of handwritten signatures stability, realized on a mobile platform. The second is a five month visit to NASK wherein the ESR will interact with respect to practical statistical methods and tools used for commercial biometric system evaluation. The expected results of this secondment are the set of programming tools and test plans needed for evaluation of middle- and long-term stability of biometrics. In particular, the actual ISO/IEC standards devoted to biometric evaluation will be used where appropriate.

Start Date: October 2017