· A fingerprint is the feature pattern of one finger. Each person has his own fingerprints with the permanent uniqueness.

· So fingerprints have being used for identification for a long time.

· A fingerprint is composed of many ridges and furrows. However, fingerprints are not distinguished by their ridges and furrows, but by Minutia, which are some abnormal points on the ridges.

· The fingerprint recognition problem can be grouped into two sub-domains:

o Fingerprint verification and

o Fingerprint identification.


Fingerprint verification is to verify the authenticity of one person by his fingerprint. The user provides his fingerprint together with his identity information like his ID number. The fingerprint verification system retrieves the fingerprint template according to the ID number and matches the template with the real-time acquired fingerprint from the user. Usually it is the underlying design principle of AFAS (Automatic Fingerprint Authentication System) i.e., program based Fingerprint Authentication System.


Fingerprint identification is to specify one person’s identity by his fingerprint(s). Without knowledge of the person’s identity, the fingerprint identification system tries to match his fingerprint(s) with those in the whole fingerprint database. It is especially useful for criminal investigation cases. And it is the design principle of AFIS (Automatic Fingerprint Identification System).


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