Biometrics based personal authentication is an effective way for automatically recognizing, with a high confidence, a person's identity. Recently, 3D ear shape has attracted tremendous interests in research field due to its richness of feature and ease of acquisition. However, the existing ICP (Iterative Closet Point)-based 3D ear matching methods prevalent in the literature are not quite efficient to cope with the one-to-many identification case. In this paper, we aim to fill this gap by proposing a novel effective fully automatic 3D ear identification system. We at first propose an accurate and efficient template-based ear detection method. By utilizing such a method, the extracted ear regions are represented in a common canonical coordinate system determined by the ear contour template, which facilitates much the following stages of feature extraction and classification. For each extracted 3D ear, a feature vector is generated as its representation by making use of a PCA-based local feature descriptor. At the stage of classification, we resort to the sparse representation based classification approach, which actually solves an l1-minimization problem. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work introducing the sparse representation framework into the field of 3D ear identification. Extensive experiments conducted on a benchmark dataset corroborate the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed approach. The associated Matlab source code and the evaluation results have been made publicly online available at http://sse.tongji.edu.cn/linzhang/ear/srcear/srcear.htm.
Zhang, L., Ding, Z., Li, H., & Shen, Y. (2014). 3D ear identification based on sparse representation. PLoS ONE, 9(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0095506