Separation of Overlapped Fingerprints


Fingerprint images generally contain either a single fingerprint (e.g., rolled images) or a set of non-overlapped fingerprints (e.g., slap fingerprints). However, there are situations where several fingerprints overlap on top of each other. Such situations are frequently encountered when latent (partial) fingerprints are lifted from crime scenes or residue fingerprints are left on fingerprint sensors. Overlapped fingerprints constitute a serious challenge to existing fingerprint recognition algorithms, since these algorithm are designed under the assumption that fingerprints have been properly segmented. So, it is important to separate overlapped fingerprints into component or individual fingerprints. The basic idea is to first estimate the orientation field of the given image with overlapped fingerprints and then separate it into component orientation fields using a relaxation labelling technique. Fingerprint singularity information can be utilized to further improve the separation performance.


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