Cancelable fingerprint templates using minutiae-based bit-strings

Chulhan Lee, Jaihie Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)


It has become critical to protect biometric templates in the current biometric community. One way for doing this is using a cancelable biometric method, which transforms original biometric templates in a non-invertible way and uses those transformed templates to verify a person's identity. In this paper, we propose a new method to generate cancelable bit-strings (templates) from fingerprint minutiae. Our method is to provide a simple mean to generate cancelable templates without requiring for pre-alignment of fingerprints. The main idea is to map the minutiae into a predefined 3 dimensional array which consist of small cells and find out which cells include minutiae. To do this, we choose one of minutiae as a reference minutia and other minutiae are translated and rotated in order to map the minutiae into the cells based on the position and orientation of the reference minutia. After mapping, we set the cells in the 3D array to 1 if they include more than one minutia otherwise the cells are set to 0. A 1D bit-string is generated by sequentially visiting the cells in the 3D array. The order of the 1D bit-string is permuted according to the type of reference minutiae and user's PIN so that we can regenerate new templates when we need them. Finally, cancelable bit-strings are generated by changing the reference minutia into another minutia in turn. In the experiments, we evaluate our method using the FVC2004 database and show that the performance is better than that of a previous method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-246
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Network and Computer Applications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 May

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) through the Biometrics Engineering Research Center at Yonsei University.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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