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The federal government held its annual Biometric Consortium Conference 18-20 September 2012. MITRE hosted a workshop during this conference to highlight FFRDC support to the federal biometrics enterprise. One panel in this workshop focused on identifying priorities that the federal government will not be able to address and/or sponsor, and that should be considered for attention by non-federal entities. This paper summarizes the priorities identified during this panel.
2IntroductionThe federal government held its annual Biometric Consortium Conference 18-20 September2012. MITRE hosted a workshop during this conference to highlight FFRDC support to thefederal biometrics enterprise. One panel in this workshop focused on identifying priorities thatthe federal government will not be able to address and/or sponsor, and that should beconsidered for attention by non-federal entities. This paper summarizes the priorities identifiedduring this panel.Panel Members Moderator: Duane Blackburn; MITRE John Boyd; Director, Defense Biometrics and Forensics1 Jim Loudermilk; Senior Level Technologist, FBI S&T Branch1 Chris Miles; Program Manager, DHS S&T Directorate.1BackgroundThe National Science and Technology Council’s Subcommittee on Biometrics and IdentityManagement leads interagency prioritization and coordination of the federal government’sbiometrics science and technology (S&T) activities. In 2011, the Subcommittee published, as anupdate to their highly influential 2006 version, The National Biometrics Challenge (Challenge),which describes biometrics S&T priorities for the upcoming three to five years. The documentserves two functions: (1) as an outreach tool to enable public-private discussion; and (2) asinternal government policy on where agencies should prioritize biometrics S&T funding.The goal for this panel was to identify the Challenge document priorities that the federalgovernment will not be able to address and/or sponsor, and therefore should be priorities forother entities. The panel was organized around the six areas identified in the 2011 Challengedocument, with additional discussion around similar unfunded priorities from a Department-centric standpoint.Panel FeedbackArea 1: Fundamental Underpinnings (Miles) Biological Distinctiveness: There is a need to understand scientific distinctiveness. Forexample:1Co-chair of the NSTC Subcommittee on Biometrics and Identity Management.
MITRE Biometrics – FFRDC Support to the Federal Biometrics EnterpriseU.S. Government Panel: Identifying Future Government Needs18 September 20123 What makes up a fingerprint? What makes a fingerprint (or other biometric) unique by demographic or otherfeature? Laboratory environments are not always the same as the real world. There is a needto understand how the research expands into the operational environment, andhow stable the biometrics (results) are over time. Understanding of Results: The federal government needs to fully understand the resultsthat come back from a system. It is important to fully comprehend the results regarding matches and no matches,as well as likelihood ratios. It is important to understand how the algorithms work.Supporting Comments/Context This area is understood, but considerable core research has not been accomplished. This area is being hit hard from a budget perspective because it is considered basicresearch. The budget priority movement focuses on operational programs. The line between forensics and biometrics is not clear. Is an analysis aimed to supportnear-term operational decision-making, or will it be used as evidence in court? Or both?The answer to this question determines how the evidence will be processed, whichneeds to be reflected in results reporting.Area 2: Biometric Capture (Loudermilk) Better Data: There is a need for better capture devices to get better data. There are three types of subjects: 1) Uncooperative; 2) Cooperative; and 3) Non-cooperative.2There are no “great” devices for the capture of all three types. An individual agency’s buying power is not big enough to affect this issue (i.e., thereis not enough funding or need to significantly improve it). There are valid reasonswhy the government should not provide direct funding for these devices; these arecommercial items. This problem is best solved by academia/industry/FFRDCs. Better and Less Expensive Devices Algorithm improvement: There is room to make improvements in all algorithms(including fingerprint).2See definitions in the NSTC’s Biometrics Glossary: http://biometrics.gov/Documents/Glossary.pdf.
MITRE Biometrics – FFRDC Support to the Federal Biometrics EnterpriseU.S. Government Panel: Identifying Future Government Needs18 September 20124Supporting Comments/Context J. Loudermilk used fingerprints as an example to illustrate the problem/need. Heencouraged the audience to expand the illustration to other modalities. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has achieved 99.6 percent reliability ofidentifying a person already enrolled in their system. While that sounds impressivestatistically, this could still result in missing 720 identifications a day in the currentNext Generation Identification (NGI) system because of the sheer volume ofmatches being performed. Clearly, there is room for improvement. Capture devices need to be improved to provide better data no matter theenrollment circumstance (e.g., when an individual has oil on their hands). Similar problems are found in other modalities.Area 3: Extraction and Representation (Boyd)EXTRACTION Data: There is a need for databases/datasets that can be used for testing. Databases should include both operational datasets collected under realisticconditions and controlled datasets. There is a need for research datasets that can be shared, as well as sequestered datanot previously seen. There is a need for datasets with multiple modalities of interest, especially rapidcapture and low quality facial images. Approaches for Robust Segmentation and Exploitation of Information Exploitation of information includes approaches from a range of characteristics andenvironments. Segmentation and exploitation needs to work in real-time from video, whileresolving off-angle pose and low-resolution constraints. Invariant Representations of Individuals Across Multiple Sensors and Modalities WhileMaintaining Uniqueness. This includes taking samples upon encounter, crunching them into an abstractedfeature vector, and generating an all-encompassing identity through the fusion ofmultiple modalities (possibly at the template level).REPRESENTATION Open representation (or templates) of features
MITRE Biometrics – FFRDC Support to the Federal Biometrics EnterpriseU.S. Government Panel: Identifying Future Government Needs18 September 20125 This should result in a larger, more open market rather than smaller, proprietaryones. Leveraging these features may require redesign in matchers. Subsequently, matchersmay need to be re-tuned to maintain and/or improve accuracy. Develop algorithms that support large scaling, as “big data” becomes a very realconcern. The biometric records of the Department of Justice, Department of HomelandSecurity, and the Department of Defense (DoD) combined will soon reach half abillion.Supporting Comments/Context For fingerprints, the DoD is interested in sensors with reduced costs, speedieracquisition, and improved reliability and accuracy.Area 4: Trusted Systems (Loudermilk) Cancellable3Biometrics Research This is important to the nation as commerce certainly needs it. The federalgovernment will not be at the forefront of funding it because it’s not as important toour national security missions. Creation and adoption of this capability will open biometrics to online commerce,among other things.Supporting Comments/Context This is not Information Assurance; it is public confidence to trust the system fortransactions. The biggest problem in this space is liveness detection, which can be solved. (Livenessdetection is not common in products today.) There is a lot to be done in this area; however, it is outside the federal government’spurview.3Cancelable (or revocable) biometrics is an intentional process where a biometric is repeatably distorted atenrollment and subsequent usage. If this information becomes compromised, the distortion characteristics can bechanged. The concept allows biometric-level personalization while minimizing the risk of a system becomingunusable should data become compromised. Any compromised data would also have significantly less negativeprivacy ramifications due to the distortion.
MITRE Biometrics – FFRDC Support to the Federal Biometrics EnterpriseU.S. Government Panel: Identifying Future Government Needs18 September 20126Area 5: Privacy (Miles) Ask the Right Questions; as a community, we must ask the correct questions about whatinformation our technology collects, how it is maintained, and how that might impactpeople. Recognize the risk of negative impacts from biometrics/forensics (e.g., a “Dad”turning away from a child because a DNA analysis showed that he is not thebiological father).Supporting Comments/Context Technology cannot simply be provided in a vacuum. It is important to provide protectionaround the information that goes with the technology, and to take responsibility foroverseeing that information’s use. Cancellable Biometrics: it is important to advance this concept as it will enableenhanced privacy-protection in operational systems.Area 6: Standards and Testing (Boyd)STANDARDS Reduce the Number of Standards: Collapse to use of fewer standards. This will reduce costs associated with proprietary template generation andalgorithms. Consider Revocable (Cancellable) Biometrics. This can mitigate risks associated with cybersecurity and spoofing.TESTING Utilize the Biometric Interagency Test and Evaluation Schema (BITES). BITES is intended to facilitate coordination and collaboration for test informationand to promote the consistent implementation of testing standards andmethodologies. At a high-level, BITES provides a structure that any entity can use to conductoperationally relevant testing. Adoption of this schema then enables thegovernment to trust that entity’s results. This effort was chartered by the NSTC Subcommittee on Biometrics and IdentityManagement.
MITRE Biometrics – FFRDC Support to the Federal Biometrics EnterpriseU.S. Government Panel: Identifying Future Government Needs18 September 20127Supporting Comments/Context Reference the registration of recommended standards compiled by the NSTC athttp://www.biometrics.gov/standards.
MITRE Biometrics – FFRDC Support to the Federal Biometrics EnterpriseU.S. Government Panel: Identifying Future Government Needs18 September 2012A-1APPENDIX A: Departmental-Specific FeedbackDepartment of Defense (Boyd) Access Control Example: Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is staffing a memorandum fromleadership that would allow installation commanders to collect biometrics frompersonnel attempting to access DoD installations for initial vetting. Big Data There is increasing concern about performing 1:N and N:N matches, not just 1:1. Thestorage and processing requirements (e.g., template generation, matching, andlinkages to intelligence and/or law enforcement information) are likely to highlystress the current architectures and infrastructures. There are scenarios that have the potential for billions of images/matches.Department of Homeland Security (Miles) Biometric Fusion There is an overwhelming amount of data. Analysts need a “thumbs up/down”result. Complexities and number of comparisons rise much more quickly in 1:N fusionapplications than in 1:1 applications. Creative strategies are needed to take advantage of all sources of data.Department of Justice (Loudermilk) Education and Policy to address the Hollywood Effect Shows such as CSI and NCIS are incorrectly affecting public perception - and courts’ –about what is possible biometrically. Data The question to ask when considering biometric technology is, “Where will the datacome from?” Positive funding streams do not solve all problems. There must be data for a systemto be effective (e.g., there are practically no iris databases in the criminal justicearena).