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Publication Citation: The Myth of the Goats: How Many People Have Fingerprints that are Hard to Match?

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Author(s): R. A. Hicklin; Craig I. Watson; Brad Ulery;
Title: The Myth of the Goats: How Many People Have Fingerprints that are Hard to Match?
Published: September 13, 2005
Abstract: The proportion of people who have fingerprints that are particularly hard to match (also known as "Goats") is a topic of great interest in biometrics, especially for those involved in the design, development, or evaluation of fingerprint-based identification or verification systems. There have been a variety of statements made in the recent past that a small percentage of people (usually 2 %) cannot be fingerprinted due to poor quality fingers. This study shows these statements are based on misconceptions: the fact that some small percentage of fingerprints may be hard to match does not mean that a corresponding percentage of people are hard to match.
Citation: NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7271
Keywords: fingerprints, goats, quality, verification, hard to match
Research Areas: Biometrics
PDF version: PDF Document Click here to retrieve PDF version of paper (892KB)