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John Daugman OBE

Abstract: "Recognising persons by their iris patterns:
National biometric identification systems"

Iris recognition provides real-time, high confidence identification of persons by analysis and encoding of the random patterns that are visible within the iris of an eye from some distance. Because the iris is a protected, internal, organ whose random texture is epigenetic and stable over life, it can serve as a living password or passport that one need not remember but is always in one's possession. To date some 30 million persons have enrolled their IrisCodes, and every day some 9 billion iris comparisons are performed in database searches. Several airports deploy it for automatic identification instead of Passport presentation, or for watchlist screening at border-crossings. This talk will briefly explain how the algorithms work by a test of statistical independence involving more than 200 degrees-of-freedom, based on phase sequencing each iris pattern with quadrature 2D wavelets. Database search speeds are about 1 million persons per second per CPU, with intrinsic scalability to national population levels. Data will be presented from 200 billion iris cross-comparisons between different eyes from a large border-crossing security deployment in the Middle East. The talk will conclude with discussion of issues related to current and prospective large-scale identification systems such as national biometric ID cards.

John Daugman received his BA and PhD degrees at Harvard University (USA) and then was appointed to its Faculty. He remained an academic, and was the Johann Bernoulli Professor of Mathematics and Informatics at the University of Groningen (NL), and the Inaugural Toshiba Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan). Since 1994 he has been at the University of Cambridge (UK) where his main areas of research and teaching are Computer Vision, Information Theory, Neural Computing, and Statistical Pattern Recognition. He is the inventor of iris recognition and author of the algorithms used in all current public deployments of this technology.

These algorithms have received various awards, including the Information Technology Award and Medal of the British Computer Society. In 2000 he received the OBE.



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