Entropy measurement for biometric verification systems

Meng Hui LIM, Pong Chi YUEN

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Biometric verification systems are designed to accept multiple similar biometric measurements per user due to inherent intrauser variations in the biometric data. This is important to preserve reasonable acceptance rate of genuine queries and the overall feasibility of the recognition system. However, such acceptance of multiple similar measurements decreases the imposter's difficulty of obtaining a system-acceptable measurement, thus resulting in a degraded security level. This deteriorated security needs to be measurable to provide truthful security assurance to the users. Entropy is a standard measure of security. However, the entropy formula is applicable only when there is a single acceptable possibility. In this paper, we develop an entropy-measuring model for biometric systems that accepts multiple similar measurements per user. Based on the idea of guessing entropy, the proposed model quantifies biometric system security in terms of adversarial guessing effort for two practical attacks. Excellent agreement between analytic and experimental simulation-based measurement results on a synthetic and a benchmark face dataset justify the correctness of our model and thus the feasibility of the proposed entropy-measuring approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7116553
Pages (from-to)1065-1077
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
Issue number5
Early online date2 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

User-Defined Keywords

  • Biometric system
  • entropy measurement
  • guessing
  • security


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