POTSDAM – The Center for Identification Technology Research (CITeR), based at Clarkson University, is celebrating its 20th year.
CITeR, which conducts research in the growing areas of identity science and biometric identification, is a National Science Foundation Industry-University Cooperative Research Center. Biometrics is the automated identification of individuals based on their biological and behavioral characteristics. Centers like CITeR focus on the needs of industry and government through collaboration between these groups and universities.
Stephanie Schuckers, Clarkson’s Paynter-Krigman Endowed Professor of Engineering Science, serves as director at CITeR.
“At some point, we wondered if this research could be a‘ solved ’problem, and then new challenges would arise: spoof detection, biometric cryptography, modified fingerprint analysis, remote biometrics, biometric permanent , etc., “he said. “And now, we’re in 2022, with more challenges like face morphing, deepfakes, bias, template security, children’s biometrics and more.”
Since awarding its first research grants in 2002, CITeR has conducted cutting-edge research as new problems develop each year.
Some basic scientific studies funded by CITeR examine permanence – how a behavior remains unchanged throughout a person’s life – in the elderly and children. Research has found that accurate fingerprint identification in adults remains high over a 12- 15-year period. CITeR researchers are also studying biometric identification of children, with applications in areas including immigration, refugee efforts and distribution of benefits. The findings show that recognition by irises was robust over the three years they studied in children aged 4 to 11, and that recognition algorithms face failed over a three -year period.
Over the past three years, CITeR researchers have also developed several single and differential morph detectors to avoid the problem of morph attacks. Face morphing is the process of combining two or more subjects in an image to create a new identity with the features of two individuals. Morphed images can trick face recognition systems into being misunderstood by many people, leading to failures in national security and border control applications.
Single morph detectors are used during passport applications to verify whether the submitted passport photograph is genuine or a morphed image. Differential detectors are used to validate whether the passport holder’s photograph is the same as the passport photograph.
Other current and past highlights of CITeR research include cross-spectral surface recognition; noncontact fingerprint recognition; template security and privacy; facial recognition bias; presentation attack detection (liveness detection); and soft and novel biometrics.
An anniversary celebration was held on May 10-12 as part of CITeR’s semiannual program review for industry and government colleagues and visitors. The event was sponsored by the Buffalo Museum of Science and the University of Buffalo and included a keynote by University Distinguished Professor Anil K. Jain of Michigan State University and technical presentations on ongoing CITeR research projects.
CITeR was founded in 2001 and held its first meeting in 2002. Lawrence Hornak of West Virginia University (WVU) is the founding director and is accompanied by Anil Jain from Michigan State University and Jim Wayman from San Jose State University. WVU coaches include Bojan Cukic, Michael Schuckers, Tim Norman and Stephanie Schuckers. In 2002, Bojan Cukic moved to the role of co-director. Today, there are 40 active faculty members.
In 2011, Stephane Schuckers became director of CITeR. Over time, CITeR also added the University of Arizona, University of Buffalo, Michigan State University and an international site, the Idiap Research Institute in Martigny, Switzerland.
The key to CITeR’s success is the involvement of its partners. IUCRCs are unique in that their partners are directly involved in all stages of the center’s research from planning to completion.
At the time of its establishment in 2002, CITeR had five affiliates: the Department of Defense – Office/Biometrics Fusion Center, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Agency, the Biometrics Foundation, and Viisage.
Today, CITeR boasts 22 members: ACV Auctions, Army Futures Command – Combat Capabilities Development, Command Armaments Center (CCDC – Armaments), Athena Sciences, Aware Inc., Cyber Street Solutions, Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC ), Defense Forensic Science Center (DFSC), Department of Defense – Defense Forensics and Biometrics Agency (DFBA), Department of Homeland Security – Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM), Department of Homeland Security – Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, IDEMIA, National Security Agency, Precise Biometrics, Public Safety Canada, Qualcomm Incorporated, SICPA, Synolo Biometrics Inc., TECH5, Veridium, and Xator Corporation.