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Abstract-- Crypto-biometric is an emerging architecture where cryptography and

biometrics are merged to achieve high security. This paper explores the realization of
cryptographic construction called fuzzy vault through iris biometric key. The proposed
algorithm aims at generating a secret encryption key from iris textures and data units for
locking and unlocking the vault. The algorithm has two phases: The first to extract binary
key from iris textures, and the second to generate fuzzy vault by using Lagrange
interpolating polynomial projections.
template minutiae sets. This correspondence is

more in iris textures when compared with that of

other biometric templates such as fingerprints

and others. To improve the degree of

correspondence, morphological operations [2]
Current cryptographic algorithms require their
can be used to extract the skeletons from iris
keys to be very long and random for higher
pseudo structures, with unique paths among the
security, that is, 128 bits for Advanced
end points and nodes.
Encryption Standards [1]. These keys are stored
Biometric based random key is generated
in smart cards and can be used during
and combined with biometric authentication
encryption/decryption procedures by using
mechanism called fuzzy vault as proposed by
proper authentication. There are two major
Jules and Sudan [3]. The advantages of
problems with these keys: One is their
cryptography and iris based authentication can
randomness. The randomness provided by
be utilized in such biometric systems.
current mathematical algorithms is not sufficient
to support the users for commercial applications.

The second is authentication. Most of the The scheme proposed by Juels and Sudan

authentication mechanisms use passwords to [3] can tolerate differences between locking and

release the correct decrypting key, but these unlocking the vault. This fuzziness comes from

mechanisms are unable to provide non- the variability of biometric data. Even though the

repudiation. Such limitations can be overcome same biometric entity is analyzed during

by using biometric authentication. different acquisitions, the extracted biometric

Positive biometric matching extracts data will vary due to acquisition characteristics,

secret key from the biometric templates. The noise etc. If the keys are not exactly the same,

performance of these algorithms depends on the the decryption operation will produce useless

correspondence between query minutiae sets and random data. Fuzzy vault scheme requires
alignment of biometric data at the time of 3. IMAGE ACQUISITION

enrolment with that of verification. This is a very We use the iris image data base from

difficult problem in case of other biometric CASIA Iris image Database [CAS03a] and

templates such as fingerprint when compared to MMU Iris Database [MMU04a]. CASIA Iris

that of iris structures. Image Data base contributes a total number of

Using multiple minutiae fixed location 756 iris image which were taken in two different

sets per iris, they first find the nodes of the time frames. Each of the iris images is 8-bit gray

pseudo structures, and use these as the elements scale with resolution 320X280. MMU data base

of the set A. As many chaff points as possible contributes a total number of 450 iris images

are added to form final point set. There is no which were captured by LG Iris Access®2200.

need to worry about the alignment of the iris

structures since they are acquired from fixed 4. IRIS LOCALIZATION

locations in the iris, that is from origin of the The eye image is acquired,

pupil traveling in clock wise direction. converted to gray scale and its contrast is

The algorithms are implemented using enhanced using histogram equalization [4].

Matlab for its ease in image manipulation and Algorithm based on thresholding and

large predefined functions. morphological operators, is used to segment the

2..PROPOSED METHOD eye image and to obtain region of interest.
The proposed method involves
Initially the pupil boundary and limbic boundary
mainly two phases – one is feature extraction
were found to fix the iris area. Many algorithms
and the other is polynomial projection to
are available today to fix these boundaries. But
generate vault. A random key combined with
one of the easiest and simple algorithms is by
lock/unlock data both of 128 bit are extracted
using morphological operations. By using bit
from iris textures and are projected on to a
plane method, we can find the pupil boundary.
polynomial with cyclic redundancy code for
The LSB bit plane is used to determine the
error checking. To these projections, chaff points
pupillary boundary [9]. Similarly the limbic
are added and scrambled to obtain vault.
boundary can be obtained by calculating
standard deviation windows in vertical and The pixels within each row along the

horizontal directions. The resulting standard angular direction are positioned into an

deviation windows are thresholded in order to appropriate square with LXL window size. L

produce a binary image. A single row or column may be of any size in binary sequence, 16, 32,

vector is obtained by eroding and dilating the ….128 bits. If the size of each row is 16, then

windows. These vectors determine limbic each row can be used to generate 16 bit words of

boundary. 128 bit secret code.

Further the iris image is normalized to a

standard size of (87x360) using interpolation 5.2 Extraction of lock/unlock data

technique. On the highlighted iris structures as a

whole, the following sequence of operations are

used to extract the pseudo structures. Close – by

- reconstruction top-hat (fig2.2) opening (fig

(a) (b)
2.3), area opening to remove structures in
Fig. 1 Iris a)after localization b)after
according to its size resulting image with
structures disposed in layers (fig3.4) and
thresholding is applied to obtain binary image
The feature extraction involves two
(fig 2.5).
stages - one to extract 128 bit secret code from

iris texture and the other is to extract lock/unlock

data from the same texture.

5.1 Extraction of Secret Code

. The gray level value of I(x,y,h) for all Fig. 2.1-2.6 Iris textures after Opening –
pixels in the iris template is normalized as, Closing operations
I(x,y,h)=I(x,y,h) * L/H, Where the L is window

size and H is the maximum gray level,[8].

1. Find the darkest point of image in

global image analysis.

2. Determine a range of darkness

Fig.3 Iris pseudo structures designated as the threshold value (t)
The image is submitted to normalization for identification of black holes.
that takes, as reference, an image containing 3. Determine the number of black holes
pseudo structures (fig 3). For appropriate and their coordinates according to the
representation of structures, thinning is used so predefined threshold. Calculate the
that every structure presents itself as an center of mass of these black holes.
agglomerate of pixels. 4. Ex and Ey denotes the x, y
To have a single path between nodes and coordinates of center which satisfy
end points, redundant pixels are removed using 3 I(x,y)<t.
x 3 masks run over them [5]. When the Ex ={Σx=0 to w-1 Σy=0 to H-1 X }/WH
foreground and background pixels in mask Ey ={Σx=0 to w-1 Σy=0 to H-1 Y }/WH
exactly match with the pixels in the image, the Where W and H are the sum of detected
pixel to be modified is the image pixel coordinates x,y and t is the threshold value.
underneath the origin of mask The radius can be calculated from the
given area( total number of black holes in the
Black hole search method [8] is used to
pupil, where radius =√area/∏.From the center of
detect the center of pupil. The center of mass
the pupil, the x,y coordinates of every node is
refers to the balance point (x, y) of the object
found and used to form lock/unlock data as
where there is equal mass in all directions. Both
shown in fig .4
the inner and outer boundaries can be taken as

circles and center of pupil can be found by

calculating its center of mass.

The steps of black hole search method X1

are as follows:
Fig. 4: Iris showing x|y coordinates Another set of random points d1, d2, ….,are

generated , with a constraint that pairs (cj,dj),

j=1,2,…M do not fall onto the polynomial

p(u).Chaff set C is then

(a) (b) (c) (d) C={( c1,d1), (c2,d2)….}.

Fig 5: Nodes and End Points Union of these two sets, G ∪ C, and degree of

7. ENCODING: polynomial D form vault V which is finally

The x and y coordinates of nodes(8 bits
each) are used as [x|y] to obtain 16 bit

lock/unlock data unit u. Secret code is used to

find the coefficients of the polynomial p. Secret 8. DECODING:

code is of 128 bit size and 16 bit CRC for error Let u*1, u*2, …. be the points from query

check. A total of 144 bits are used to generate a features used for polynomial reconstruction. If

polynomial of 9(144/16) coefficients with degree u*i , i=1,2,…N is equal to values of vault V, then

D=8. Hence vi , i=1,2,…(M+N), the corresponding vault point

p(u) = c8u8 + c7u7 +…….+ c0 . is added to the list of points used. For decoding

The 144 bit code is divided into non overlapping D degree polynomial, (D+1) unique projections

16 bit segments and each segment is declared as are needed. Thus C(k,D+1) combinations are

a specific coefficient. Normally MSB bits are needed to construct a polynomial, where k<=N.

used to represent higher degree coefficients and After constructing the polynomial, the

LSB bits for lower degree coefficients. The same coefficients are mapped back to the decoded

mapping is also used during decoding. secret code. For checking errors the polynomial

Genuine set G is found by projecting the is divided with CRC primitive polynomial. A

polynomial p using N iris template features u1, u2, zero remainder means no errors. The first 128

…… Thus G ={ [u1, p(u1)], [u2, p(u2)],….}. Chaff bits in secret code leads to actual information If

set C is found by randomly assuming M points the query list overlaps with template list, then the

c1, c2, ….which do not overlap with u1, u2, ….. information transmitted is correct.
9..EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS: The 144 bits are converted to polynomial p(u) as
Data Base: CASIA iris data base, i)Image
type: Gray ii)Image Size of Database: 756
images iii) Class Information: The images are
The indices of x and y coordinates of nodes are
from 108 eyes of 80 subjects iv)Sensor: A digital
used for projections.
optical sensor. Each image is of 320 x 280 pixel
The co-ordinates of nodes in fig (5) are
size and of 96 dpi resolution in both horizontal
fig-5(a) (13,0), (23,15),
and vertical directions with a depth of 8 bits. The
fig-5(b) (12,18),(29,5),
indices of nodes are converted to 8-bit range. Pre
fig-5(c ) (14,17),(20,18),
alignment of template and query data sets are not
fig-5(d) (16,13)
needed since both are acquired from a fixed
Using these indices, genuine points are generated
position in iris and traveling in same direction,
to which chaff points are added later to form
clockwise, for example.
vault. The ratio of chaff points and original
The secret key is generated from the iris
points is taken as 10:1 so that the combinations
are large in giving high security. During
decoding 20 query points are selected on the
average. Out of 100 iris templates, 82 are
successful in unlocking the vault. Hence False
Rejection Rate (FRR) of the system is 0.18 that
is genuine acceptance ratio is 82% which is
considerably higher than by other biometric

The CRC obtained using CRC16 primitive

polynomial u16+ u15+ u2+1 is Biometric FRR
Finger print Minutiae 79%
0010100000101000 Iris texture Nodes 82%
The vault has 220 points, hence there are a total Press,1994.

[]3 A.Juels and M.Sudan, “A Fuzzy Vault Scheme”, proc.IEEE

15 Int’l. Symp.Inf. Theory,A Lapidoth and
of C(220,9) = 2.8 x 10 combinations with 9 E.Teletar,Eds.,pp.408,2002.

elements. Only C(20,9) = 167960 of these are []4 R.C.Gonzalez amd R.E.Woods, Digital Image Processing,
Addison-Wesley, 3rd
used to open the vault. Therefore, it takes [5] Joaquim De Mira Jr, Joceli Mayer, “Image Feature
Extraction for application of Biometric Identification of Iris –
C(220,9)/C(20,9) = 1.67 x 1010 evaluations for A Morphological Approach”. proc IEEE Int’l Symp on
Computer Graphics and Image processing, SIBGRAPI’03

an attacker to open the vault. [6] Umut Uludag, and Anil K.Jain, “ Fuzzy Finger
Print Vault”, Proc. Workshop: Biometrics: Challenges Arising
from Theory to practice, pp.13-16, 2004,W.H.Press
[7] S.A.Teukolsky,
Fuzzy vault, constructed for iris W.T.Vetterling, and B.P.Flannery,
Recipes in C,2.Ed.,
templates, is superior to that of other biometric Cambridge University press,1992.

[8] Chuan Chin Teo, Hong Tat

templates. When compared with other Ewe “An efficient One
Dimensional Fractal
Analysis for Iris Recognition”
biometrics, iris provides stable structures WSCG’2005, January 31-
Feb4,2005,Plzen,Czech Republic.

irrespective of acquisition characteristics. But [9] LiMA,Tieniu, “Efficient Iris Recognition by

Characterizing Key Local Variations”, IEEE trans., Image
histogram processing is needed for contrast
[10] Robert Ives, Delores Etter, Yingzi Du, “Iris
Pattern Extraction using Bit Planes and Standard Deviations”,
enhancement of iris after acquiring. Also pre IEEE conference on Signals, systems and computers, 2004.

alignment of templates is not necessary since

nodes are always constant in iris texture. The

time complexity and space complexity of

algorithm are high due to long integers involved

in genuine set calculation since the size of each

template is 32 x 32. Also multiple combinations

are to be verified. Quantizing the iris features to

8 x 8 level can minimize these complexities.


[1] NIST, Advanced Encryption


[]2 H.Heijmans, Morphological Image Operators, Academi