A Simple Computer-assisted Quantification of Contrast in a Fingerprint

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Abstract

A simple method for quantification of contrast in a fingerprint is proposed. Contrast is defined as the average difference in intensity of pixels between valleys and ridges in a fingerprint. It is quantified from a scanner-acquired image of the fingerprint using a histogram function of Adobe Photoshop. The method was validated with black inked prints and marks developed with aluminum powder. Moreover, we tested resistance of the method to rater-dependent errors and dependence of the measurements on the resolution of an image and the model of the scanner. For both groups of fingerprints, the method gave coherent and easily interpretable quantitative values for contrast. There were no significant differences between measurements performed by different raters and by the same rater in a test–retest procedure. However, the method was found to be instrument dependent, as measurements were significantly affected by image resolution and the model of the scanner.

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