Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Performance of Biometric Quality Measures



Patrick Grother, Elham Tabassi


We document methods for the quantitative evaluation of systems that produce a scalar summary of a biometric sample¿s quality. We predicate this on the idea that the quality measure predicts performance, whether by design or correlation. We do this abstractly (that is, for arbitrary biometrics) for the general case of a generic black box apparatus that takes a biometric sample as input, and produces some summary output that is intended to be indicative of the expected matching performance from the sample when compared with other samples. We motivate this by reviewing the valuable operational uses of quality values. We detail the quality-performance relationship, and giving various performance target measures. This is a necessary preamble to the main points of the paper: methods and metrics for evaluating a quality algorithm; and a procedure for establishing target quality values for a reference biometric data set.
Journal of Pattern Recognition and Machine Intelligence


performance measures, biometric, quality, performance evaluation, statistical computing


Grother, P. and Tabassi, E. (2007), Performance of Biometric Quality Measures, Journal of Pattern Recognition and Machine Intelligence, [online], (Accessed July 23, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created April 15, 2007, Updated October 12, 2021