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.

White-Box Evaluation of Fingerprint Matchers: Robustness to Minutiae Perturbations



Steven Grosz, Joshua J. Engelsma, Nicholas G. Paulter Jr., Anil K. Jain


Prevailing evaluations of fingerprint recognition systems have been performed as end-to-end black-box tests of fingerprint identification or authentication accuracy. However, performance of the end-to-end system is subject to errors arising in any of its constituent modules, including: fingerprint scanning, preprocessing, feature extraction, and matching. While a few studies have conducted standalone evaluations of the fingerprint reader and feature extraction modules of fingerprint recognition systems, little work has been devoted towards white-box evaluations of the fingerprint matching module. We report results of a controlled, white-box evaluation of one open-source and two commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) minutiae-based matchers in terms of their robustness against controlled perturbations (random noise and non-linear distortions) introduced into the input minutiae feature sets. Our white-box evaluations reveal that the performance of fingerprint minutiae matchers are more susceptible to non-linear distortion and missing minutiae than spurious minutiae and small positional displacements of the minutiae locations.
Proceedings Title
Conference Dates
September 27-30, 2020
Conference Location
Houston, TX, US


Fingerprint recognition systems, minutiaematching module, white-box evaluation, non-linear distortion, uncertainty analysis


Grosz, S. , Engelsma, J. , Paulter Jr., N. and Jain, A. (2021), White-Box Evaluation of Fingerprint Matchers: Robustness to Minutiae Perturbations, 2020 INTERNATIONAL JOINT CONFERENCE ON BIOMETRICS, Houston, TX, US, [online], (Accessed June 20, 2024)


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

Created January 6, 2021, Updated October 12, 2022