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<p><b>Abstract</b>—Most automatic systems for fingerprint comparison are based on minutiae matching. Minutiae are essentially terminations and bifurcations of the <it>ridge lines</it> that constitute a fingerprint pattern. Automatic minutiae detection is an extremely critical process, especially in low-quality fingerprints where noise and contrast deficiency can originate pixel configurations similar to minutiae or hide real minutiae. Several approaches have been proposed in the literature; although rather different from each other, all these methods transform fingerprint images into binary images. In this work we propose an original technique, based on ridge line following, where the minutiae are extracted directly from gray scale images. The results achieved are compared with those obtained through some methods based on image binarization. In spite of a greater conceptual complexity, the method proposed performs better both in terms of efficiency and robustness.</p>
Fingerprints, minutiae, feature extraction, gray scale images, directional image.

D. Maltoni and D. Maio, "Direct Gray-Scale Minutiae Detection In Fingerprints," in IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis & Machine Intelligence, vol. 19, no. , pp. 27-40, 1997.
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