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<p>The first subject of this paper is the estimation of a high resolution directional field of fingerprints. Traditional methods are discussed and a new method, based on principal component analysis, is proposed. The method not only computes the direction in any pixel location, but its coherence as well. It is proven that this method provides exactly the same results as the “averaged square-gradient method” that is known from literature. Undoubtedly, the existence of a completely different equivalent solution increases the insight into the problem's nature. The second subject of this paper is singular point detection. A very efficient algorithm is proposed that extracts singular points from the high-resolution directional field. The algorithm is based on the Poincaré index and provides a consistent binary decision that is not based on postprocessing steps like applying a threshold on a continuous resemblance measure for singular points. Furthermore, a method is presented to estimate the orientation of the extracted singular points. The accuracy of the methods is illustrated by experiments on a live-scanned fingerprint database.</p>
Image processing, fingerprint recognition, directional field, orientation estimation, singular point extraction, principal component analysis.

A. M. Bazen and S. H. Gerez, "Systematic Methods for the Computation of the Directional Fields and Singular Points of Fingerprints," in IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis & Machine Intelligence, vol. 24, no. , pp. 905-919, 2002.
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