With the prevalence of the information age, privacy and personalization are forefront in today's society. As such, biometrics are viewed as essential components of current and evolving technological systems. Consumers demand unobtrusive and noninvasive approaches. In our previous work, we have demonstrated a speaker verification system that meets these criteria. However, there are additional constraints for fielded systems. The required recognition transactions are often performed in adverse environments and across diverse populations, necessitating robust solutions.

There are two significant problem areas in current generation speaker verification systems. The first is the difficulty in acquiring clean audio signals (in all environments) without encumbering the user with a head-mounted close-talking microphone. Second, unimodal biometric systems do not work with a significant percentage of the population. To combat these issues, multimodal techniques are being investigated to improve system robustness to environmental conditions, as well as improve overall accuracy across the population.

We propose a multimodal approach that builds on our current state-of-the-art speaker verification technology. In order to maintain the transparent nature of the speech interface, we focus on optical sensing technology to provide the additional modality–giving us an audio-visual person recognition system. For the audio domain, we use our existing speaker verification system. For the visual domain, we focus on lip motion. This is chosen, rather than static face or iris recognition, because it provides dynamic information about the individual. In addition, the lip dynamics can aid speech recognition to provide liveness testing.

The visual processing method makes use of both color and edge information, combined within a Markov random field (MRF) framework, to localize the lips. Geometric features are extracted and input to a polynomial classifier for the person recognition process. A late integration approach, based on a probabilistic model, is employed to combine the two modalities. The system is tested on the XM2VTS database combined with AWGN (in the audio domain) over a range of signal-to-noise ratios.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

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