The Identification Technologies Research Center celebrates its 20th anniversary
The Center for Identification Technology Research (CITeR), based at Clarkson University, celebrates its 20th anniversary.
CITeR, which conducts research in the burgeoning fields of identity science and biometric recognition, is a National Science Foundation industry-university cooperative research center. Biometrics is the automated recognition of individuals based on their biological and behavioral characteristics. Centers like CITeR focus on the needs of industry and government through collaborations between these groups and universities.
Stephanie Schuckers, Clarkson Endowed Paynter-Krigman Professor of Engineering Science, is director of CITeR.
“At times we wondered if this research would become a ‘solved’ problem, and then new challenges would emerge: spoofing detection, biometric cryptography, tampered finger detection, remote biometrics, biometric permanence, etc. “, she says. “And now here we are in 2022, with additional challenges such as face morphing, deepfakes, biases, model security, child biometrics and many more.”
Since the awarding of its first research grants in 2002, the CITeR has conducted cutting-edge research as new issues evolve each year.
Some CITeR-funded basic science studies examine permanence — how a trait remains essentially unchanged throughout life — in aging adults and children. Research has found that accurate fingerprint identification in adults has remained high over a 12 to 15 year period. CITeR researchers have also studied biometric recognition in children, which has applications in areas such as immigration, refugee efforts and benefit distribution. The results show that iris identification is stable over the three years studied in children aged 4 to 11, and facial recognition algorithms fail over a three-year period.
Over the past three years, CITeR researchers have also developed several simple and differential morph detectors to circumvent the problem of morph attacks. Face morphing is the process of combining two or more subjects in one image to create a new identity that contains the characteristics of both individuals. Morphed images can trick facial recognition systems into falsely accepting multiple people, leading to failures in national security and border control applications.
Unique morph detectors are used during passport applications to authenticate whether the submitted passport photo is a real or morphed image. Differential detectors are used to validate if the passport holder photo is the same as the passport photo.
Other highlights of current and past CITeR research include cross-spectral facial recognition; contactless fingerprint recognition; model security and confidentiality; bias in facial recognition; presentation attack detection (liveness detection); and soft new biometrics.
An anniversary celebration was held May 10-12 as part of CITeR’s bi-annual program review for affiliates and guests from industry and government. The event was hosted at the Buffalo Museum of Science and the University at Buffalo and included a keynote address by University Professor Emeritus Anil K. Jain of Michigan State University and technical presentations on the projects of CITeR research in progress.
CITeR was founded in 2001 and held its first meeting in 2002. Lawrence Hornak of West Virginia University (WVU) was the founding director and was joined by Anil Jain of Michigan State University and Jim Wayman of San Jose State University. WVU faculty included Bojan Cukic, Michael Schuckers, Tim Norman, and Stephanie Schuckers. In 2002, Bojan Cukic moved to the role of co-director. Today, there are 40 active teachers.
In 2011, Stéphane Schuckers became director of the CITeR. Over time, CITeR also added the University of Arizona, the University at Buffalo, Michigan State University and an international site, the Idiap Research Institute in Martigny, Switzerland.
The key to CITeR’s success is the participation of its affiliates. The IUCRCs are unique in that their affiliates are directly involved in all phases of the center’s research, from planning to completion.
When it was founded in 2002, CITeR had five affiliates: the Department of Defense — Office/Biometrics Fusion Center, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Agency, the Biometrics Foundation, and Viisage.
Today, CITeR has 22 members: ACV Auctions, Army Futures Command — Combat Capabilities Development, Command Armaments Center (CCDC — Armaments), Athena Sciences, Aware Inc., Cyber Street Solutions, Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC) , Defense Forensic Science Center (DFSC), Department of Defense — Defense Forensics and Biometrics Agency (DFBA), Department of Homeland Security — Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM), Department of Homeland Security — Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, IDEMIA, National Security Agency, Precise Biometrics, Public Safety Canada, Qualcomm Incorporated, SICPA, Synolo Biometrics Inc., TECH5, Veridium and Xator Corporation.