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We describe a general probabilistic framework for matching patterns that experience in-plane nonlinear deformations, such as iris patterns. Given a pair of images, we derive a maximum a posteriori probability (MAP) estimate of the parameters of the relative deformation between them. Our estimation process accomplishes two things simultaneously: It normalizes for pattern warping and it returns a distortion-tolerant similarity metric which can be used for matching two nonlinearly deformed image patterns. The prior probability of the deformation parameters is specific to the pattern-type and, therefore, should result in more accurate matching than an arbitrary general distribution. We show that the proposed method is very well suited for handling iris biometrics, applying it to two databases of iris images which contain real instances of warped patterns. We demonstrate a significant improvement in matching accuracy using the proposed deformed Bayesian matching methodology. We also show that the additional computation required to estimate the deformation is relatively inexpensive, making it suitable for real-time applications.
Pattern matching, image processing, iris recognition, statistical models for pattern recognition.

B. Vijaya Kumar, J. Thornton and M. Savvides, "A Bayesian Approach to Deformed Pattern Matching of Iris Images," in IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis & Machine Intelligence, vol. 29, no. , pp. 596-606, 2007.
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