A Survey of Super-Resolution in Iris Biometrics With Evaluation of Dictionary-Learning
The lack of resolution has a negative impact on the performance of image-based biometrics. While many generic super-resolution methods have been proposed to restore low-resolution images, they usually aim to enhance their visual appearance. However, an overall visual enhancement of biometric images does not necessarily correlate with a better recognition performance. Reconstruction approaches thus need to incorporate the specific information from the target biometric modality to effectively
... to effectively improve recognition performance. This paper presents a comprehensive survey of iris super-resolution approaches proposed in the literature. We have also adapted an eigen-patches' reconstruction method based on the principal component analysis eigen-transformation of local image patches. The structure of the iris is exploited by building a patch-position-dependent dictionary. In addition, image patches are restored separately, having their own reconstruction weights. This allows the solution to be locally optimized, helping to preserve local information. To evaluate the algorithm, we degraded the high-resolution images from the CASIA Interval V3 database. Different restorations were considered, with 15 × 15 pixels being the smallest resolution evaluated. To the best of our knowledge, this is the smallest resolutions employed in the literature. The experimental framework is complemented with six publicly available iris comparators that were used to carry out biometric verification and identification experiments. The experimental results show that the proposed method significantly outperforms both the bilinear and bicubic interpolations at a very low resolution. The performance of a number of comparators attains an impressive equal error rate as low as 5% and a Top-1 accuracy of 77%-84% when considering the iris images of only 15 × 15 pixels. These results clearly demonstrate the benefit of using trained super-resolution techniques to improve the quality of iris images prior to matching. INDEX TERMS Iris hallucination, iris recognition, eigen-patch, super-resolution, PCA.