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MINEX Performance and Interoperability of the INCITS 378 Fingerprint Template



Patrick Grother, R. McCabe, Craig I. Watson, Michael D. Indovina, Wayne J. Salamon, Patricia A. Flanagan, Elham Tabassi, Elaine M. Newton, Charles L. Wilson


While the interchange of fingerprint image data provides the greatest interoperability between dissimilar fingerprint recognition systems, standards exist that specify the location and formatting of processed minutiae locations data, or templates. Minutiae templates are a smaller, faster, cheaper alternative, but there is limited information regarding the interoperability, performance, and matching accuracy of fingerprint matching systems that exchange minutiae extracted using dissimilar systems. The Minutiae Interoperability Exchange Test 2004 (MINEX) was performed with 14 participating vendors to determine the feasibility of using standard templates as the interchange medium between different systems. This test was designed to determine whether various subsets of vendors and combinations of encoding schemes, authentication templates, enrollment templates, and fingerprint matchers will produce successful matches. MINEX found that the ability to make interoperable templates does not imply the ability to make an accurate matcher, and template extractors and matchers need to be certified separately. The degree of interoperability possible between vendors depends on the accuracy required by the user. When using two index finger authentication and operating at a false match rate (FMR) of 0.01, the best matcher can match templates from 13 of the 14 vendors at a false non-match rate (FNMR) less than 0.01. Generating templates is generally an easier task for vendors than matching: two template generators have a median FNMR less than or equal to 0.01 when using the min A format for two index finger authentication at an FMR of 0.01.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7296
Report Number


minutiae templates, fingerprint matching, interoperability, PIV


Grother, P. , McCabe, R. , Watson, C. , Indovina, M. , Salamon, W. , Flanagan, P. , Tabassi, E. , Newton, E. and Wilson, C. (2006), MINEX Performance and Interoperability of the INCITS 378 Fingerprint Template, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 24, 2024)


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Created March 1, 2006, Updated October 12, 2021