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BioCTS Machine Readable Tables

BioCTS Machine Readable Tables Logo

Supporting ANSI/NIST-ITL (AN) Machine Readable Tables (MRT)

NEWAugust 2017

A machine-readable specification of the AN-ITL 1-2011 data format was created and published on NIST’s website in 2013. This specification defines MRTs that specify many aspects an AN-ITL biometric transaction including records, fields, and related data constraints. The MRTs are documented in an XML file format which software can easily accept, parse, and use while remaining human-readable.

Using MRTs, BioCTS AN MRT applications can accept an XML configuration file as part of the input to the program and can parse and interpret the XML file, generating tests dynamically. Any adjustments to the MRTs can be performed using a simple text editor, allowing users to define or modify transaction elements and requirements, define MRT files for new standards and applications, or remove requirements upon the release of errata or error corrections without waiting on a release of new software versions.

BioCTS MRT processes and compiles the data from individual MRT documents to produce testing processes for an AN-ITL transaction. Processing and compilation of the MRT documents is necessary because they are designed to be layered onto previous versions. For example, the AN-ITL 2013 update may be produced by layering three MRT files: AN-2011, AN-2013 error corrections, and AN-2013 new additions. After the MRT data is compiled, the test transactions are parsed and tested using the definitions found in the MRT files.

Why use MRTs?

Previous versions of BioCTS tools had some limitations, for example:

  • End users with domain-specific requirements and user-defined fields were not able to modify the conformance tests or parsing rules
  • Modifications to the base standard requirements or subsequent revisions required a new release of BioCTS applications

BioCTS AN MRT applications use the MRT format to provide end users with more control over parsing, testing, and supporting new standards and profiles without the need for a new software release.

Software Downloads

The MRT files provided with BioCTS AN MRT enable testing implementations of the following standards and profiles:

  • AN-2011
  • AN-2013
  • FBI EBTS Version 9.3
  • FBI EBTS Version 10.0.5
  • FBI EBTS Iris Pilot

Current versions of BioCTS AN MRT support all Level-1 and Level-2 tests defined by the MRTs. See the User Guide for more information. For a complete definition of Level-1 and Level-2 testing, see the ANSI/NIST-ITL standard.

Current Versions:

To see what has changed since the initial release, please review the Changelog

Previous Versions:


Send comments/errors on the tool, sample data and documentation to BioCTS [at] (BioCTS[at]nist[dot]gov)

Screen Captures

Initial Image that appears at MRT
Figure 1 - Initial Loading of MRT Documents

Transaction Batch Testing Multiple ANSI/NIST-ITL Profiles at Once
Figure 2 - Transaction Batch Testing Multiple ANSI/NIST-ITL Profiles at Once

Traditional Format Editor has been enhanced to support multiple profile format testing
Figure 3 - Traditional Format Editor has been enhanced to support multiple profile format testing

Options Tab has updated to support MRT specifications
Figure 4 - Options Tab has updated to support MRT specifications
Created April 20, 2017, Updated September 5, 2017