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I nternati onal Journal of Sci enti fi c & Engi neeri ng Research Vol ume 2, I ssue 4, April -2011 1

I SSN 2229-5518
IJ SER 2011
A Novel Method for Fingerprint Core Point
Navrit Kaur J ohal, Prof. Amit Kamra
Abstract- Fingerprint recognition is a method of biometric authentication that uses pattern recognition techniques based on high-
resolution fingerprints images of the individual. Fingerprints have been used in forensic as well as commercial applications for
identification as well as verification. Singular point detection is the most important task of fingerprint image classification operation.
Two types of singular points called core and delta points are claimed to be enough to classify the fingerprints. The classification can
act as an important indexing mechanism for large fingerprint databases which can reduce the query time and the computational
complexity. Usually fingerprint images have noisy background and the local orientation field also changes very rapidly in the singular
point area. It is difficult to locate the singular point precisely. There already exists many singular point detection algorithms, Most of
them can efficiently detect the core point when the image quality is fine, but when the image quality is poor, the efficiency of the
algorithm degrades rapidly. In the present work, a new method of detection and localization of core points in a fingerprint image is
Index TermsCore Point, Delta Point, Smoothening, Orientation Field, Fingerprint Classes

ingerpri nts have been used as a method of i dentifying
i ndi vi dual s due to the favorabl e characteri stics such as
unchangeability and uniqueness i n an individuals
lifeti me. In recent years, as the importance of information
securi ty i s hi ghl y demanded, fi ngerpri nts are uti l ized for
the appli cations related to user identification and
authentication. Most Automatic Fingerpri nt Identification
systems are based on local ridge features; ri dge ending and
ri dge bifurcati on, known as mi nuti ae The first sci entific
study of the fi ngerpri nt was made by Gal ton who di vi ded
fi ngerpri nt i nto three major classes: arches, l oops, and
whorls. Henry, l ater refined Galtons cl assificati on by
i ncreasing the number of cl assi fi cati on. Henrys
cl assification is well-known and widely accepted. Henrys
cl asses consi st of: arch, tent arch, l eft l oop, ri ght l oop and
whorl .
At a global l evel the fingerpri nt pattern exhibits the area
that ridge li nes assume distincti ve shapes. Such an area or
region with unique pattern of curvature, bifurcation,
termi nati on i s known as a si ngul ar regi on and i s cl assi fied
into core point and delta point. The singular points can be
viewed as the points where the orientation field is
di sconti nuous.
Core poi nts are the poi nts where the i nnermost ri dge l oops
are at their steepest. Delta points are the points from whi ch
three patterns i.e. l oop, delta and whorl deviate. Defi niti ons
may vary in deferent li teratures, but thi s defi niti on of
si ngul ar poi nt i s the most popul ar one. Fi gure 1 bel ow
represents the core and delta points.
Fig 1. The Core and Delta Points on a fingerprint image
This paper is organized as foll ows. In section 2, are
di scussed the di fferent types of fi ngerpri nts. I n Secti on 3 i s
explai ned the drawbacks with the existing techniques of
core point detection. Secti on 4 focuses on the problem
soluti on. In section 5, the core point is extracted using the
proposed algorithm. The experi mental results performed on
a vari ety of fi ngerpri nt i mages are di scussed i n secti on 6
and the concl usi on and future scope i s di scussed i n Secti on

- Navrit Kaur is pursuing M.Tech fromGuru Nanak Dev Engineering

CollegeLudhiana E-mail: navrit.johal@gmail.com
- Amit Kamra is with Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana. E-
mail: amit_malout@yahoo.com.
Core Point
Delta Points
International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research Vol ume 2, Issue 4, Apri l-2011 2
ISSN 2229-5518
IJ SER 2011
The positi ons of cores and deltas are claimed to be enough
to classify the fingerpri nts into six categories, which include
arch, tented arch, left-loop, ri ght-loop, whorl, and twin-
l oop.
- Loops constitute between 60 and 70 per cent of the
patterns encountered. In a loop pattern, one or
more of the ri dges enters on ei ther si de of the
i mpressi on, recurves, touches or crosses the l i ne of
the glass running from the delta to the core, and
terminates or tends to terminate on or i n the
direction of the side where the ri dge or ridges
entered. There i s exactly one delta in a loop. Loops
that have ridges that enter and l eave from left side
are called the Left Loops and loops that have ridges
that enter and leave from ri ght side are called the
Ri ght Loops. In twin loops the ridges containing
the core points have their exits on different sides.
- In a whorl , some of the ridges make a turn through
at l east one ci rcui t. Any fi ngerpri nt pattern which
contains 2 or more deltas will be a whorl pattern
- In arch patterns, the ridges run from one side to the
other of the pattern, making no backward turn.
Arches come in two types, plai n or tented. While
the pl ai n arch tends to fl ow rather easil y through
the pattern with no significant changes, the tented
arch does make a significant change and does not
have the same easy flow that the plai n arch does.
I n short, whi l e classi fyi ng the fingerpri nts, we can make the
assumption that if a pattern contains no delta then it is an
arch, if i t contains one (and only one) delta i t will be a loop
and if it contains 2 or more i t will always be a whorl. If a
pattern does contain more than 2 deltas i t will always be an
acci dental whorl .
Fig 2. Classes of fingerprint (a)Arch, (b)Tented Arch, (c) Right Loop (d)
Left Loop, (e) Whorl and (f) Double Loop (The double loop type is
sometimes counted as whorl)
Fi ngerpri nt fri cti on ri dge detai l s are generall y descri bed i n
a hierarchical order at three levels, namely, Level 1
(pattern), Level 2 (minutiae points) and Level 3 (pores and
ri dge shape).Automated fi ngerpri nt identification systems
(AFISs) employ only Level 1 and Level 2 features. No two
fi ngerpri nts are al i ke, but the pattern of our fi ngerpri nt i s
i nheri ted from cl ose rel ati ves and peopl e i n our i mmedi ate
fami l y. Thi s i s consi dered "l evel 1 detail ." The detai l of our
actual fi nger and pal m pri nt i s not i nheri ted. Thi s i s
considered "level 2 and 3 level detail " and is used to identify
fingerprints from person to person.
The fol l owi ng fi gure bri efl y expl ai ns the three types of
levels of detail s in our fingerprint:
Fig 3. Level 1 , Level 2 and Level 3 Details
I n thi s paper, we propose a new core poi nt detecti on
method which can preci sely l ocali ze the core point and does
not requi re further post processing as well . The proposed
method only concentrates on the core point detection as
most of the ridge characteristics e.g ridge endings and ridge
bifurcations are present in the core block (centre).
The existing techniques used for detecti on of core point do
not produce good resul ts for noi sy i mages. Moreover, they
International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research Vol ume 2, Issue 4, Apri l-2011 3
ISSN 2229-5518
IJ SER 2011
may someti mes detect spurious core point due to the
i nabil i ty to work effi ci entl y for noi sy i mages. Al so
techniques li ke Poincare Index fail for Arch type of I mage.
The aim of proposed algorithm is to formulate a more
accurate core poi nt determi nati on al gori thm whi ch can
produce better l ocal i zati on of core poi nts avoi di ng any
spuri ous points detected produci ng robust results for all
types of fingerprints that have been discussed in this paper.
Fig 4. The proposed methodology for Core Point Detection
The fi rst step of the fingerpri nt enhancement algori thm is
image segmentation. Segmentation is the process of
separati ng the foreground regions in the image from the
background regions. The foreground regions correspond to
the clear fingerprint area containing the ridges and valleys,
whi ch i s the area of i nterest. The background corresponds
to the regions outside the borders of the fingerpri nt area,
whi ch do not contai n any val i d fi ngerpri nt i nformati on.
Cutting or cropping out the region that does not contain
valid information minimizes the number of operations on
fi ngerpri nt i mage. The background regi ons of a fi ngerprint
i mage generall y exhi bit a very l ow grey-scal e vari ance
value, whereas the foreground regions have a very high
variance. Hence, a method based on vari ance threshold can
be used to perform the segmentation. The steps for mean
and variance based segmentation are as foll ows:
a) Fi rstl y, the i mage I(i ,j) i s di vi ded i nto non
overlapping blocks of size wXw.
b) The mean value M(I) i s then calculated for each
block using the following equation:

= =
) , (
) (
j i I
c) The mean value cal culated above is then used to
find the variance using the foll owing equation:
)) ( ) , ( (
) ( I M j i I

= =
d) If the variance is less than the global threshold
value selected empiricall y, then the bl ock is
assigned to be a background region; otherwise, it is
assigned to be part of the foreground.
Fig 5. The result of segmentation using a variance threshold of 100 and
a block size of 16 16.
In i mage processing, normali zation is a process that
changes the range of pixel intensity values. Normali zation
i s someti mes cal l ed contrast stretchi ng. In more general
fields of data processing, such as digital signal processing, it
is referred to as dynamic range expansion. The purpose of
dynami c range expansi on i n the vari ous appl i cati ons i s
usuall y to bring the image, or other type of signal, i nto a
range that is more famil iar or normal to the senses, hence
the term normali zation. Normali zation is a linear process. If
the intensity range of the image is 50 to 180 and the desired
range is 0 to 255 the process entails subtracti ng 50 from each
of pixel i ntensity, making the range 0 to 130. Then each
pixel i ntensity is multi pli ed by 255/130, making the range 0
to 255.
Let I(i,j) denote the gray-level value at pixel (i,j), M0 and V0
denote the estimated mean and variance of I, respecti vely,
and N(i,j) denote the normali zed gray-level value at pixel (i,
j). The normali zed image is defined as foll ows:
Ori gi nal Image
Normali zed Image
Smoothed Image
Fi ne Tuni ng of
Ori entati on Fi el d
Core Point on the
Smoothed Image
International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research Vol ume 2, Issue 4, Apri l-2011 4
ISSN 2229-5518
IJ SER 2011
M j i I if
M j i I V M
M j i I V M
j i N

) , (
) ) , ( (
) ) , ( (
) , (
0 0
0 0
Normali zation is a pixel-wise operation. It does not change
the clarity of the ridge and valley structures. The main
purpose of normalizati on is to reduce the variations in gray-
level values along ridges and valleys, which facili tates the
subsequent processing steps.
Fig 6. Result of normalization.(a) Input image(b) Normalized (M0 =100,
VAR0 =100).
The orientation flow is then estimated using the least square
method usi ng the fol l owi ng equati ons after di vi di ng the
i nput i mage I i nto non overl appi ng bl ocks of si ze wXw and
then computing the gradients
c and
c at each pixel.
) , ( ) , ( 2 ) , (
2 /
2 /
2 /
2 /
v u v u j i V y x
w j
w j v
w i
w i u
x c c =

) , ( ) , ( ) , (
2 2
2 /
2 /
2 /
2 /
v u v u j i Vy y x
w j
w j v
w i
w i u
c c =

c (u,v) and
c (u,v) represents gradient
magnitudes at each pixel in x and y directions respectively.
The di recti on of bl ock centered at pi xel (i ,j) i s then
computed using the foll owing equation:


) . (
) , (
) , (
j i V
j i V
j i
u (6)
Due to the presence of noi se, corrupted ri dge and val ley
structures, minuti ae etc. in the input i mage, the estimated
local ridge orientation, (i,j), may not always be correct. A
l ow-pass fi l ter i s hence used to modi fy the i ncorrect l ocal
ri dge ori entati on.
Ri dge smoothi ng i s then performed whi ch i s a process of
fi ndi ng out the val i d frequency of the bi nary i mage of
ri dges. Fil ters corresponding to these di sti nct frequencies
and ori entations are then generated. Fig 7 i ndicates the
results obtained after smoothing the image.
Fig 7. Original and Smoothed Fingerprint images respectively.
The di recti on of gravi ty of progressi ve bl ocks i s then
determined, using the foll owing equations (P=3):

V A and


V B (7)
As we know that singul ar points are the points where the
ori entati on fi el d i s di sconti nuous, hence ori entati on pl ays a
cruci al rol e i n esti mati ng the core poi nt on a fi ngerprint
image. Hence, we need another mechani sm to fine tune the
orientation field so as to avoid any spurious core points and
the irregulari ties that has occurred because of noise. The
ori entati on fi eld for coarse core point is then fine tuned by
adjusting orientation using the following :
I f : 0 =
) j , i (
B then: ) A / B ( tan .
5 0

= u (8)
else: 2 / t = u
if 0 < u then
if : 0 < A then: 2 / t + u = u
else: t + u = u
else if 0 < A then: 2 / t = u
Hence we calculate the value , which is the ori entation
value of the image.
1. The ori gi nal fi ngerpri nt i mage i s fi rst segmented
and normali zed using equations (1), (2) and (3).
2. Determine the x and y magnitudes of the gradients
Gx and Gy at each pixel.
International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research Vol ume 2, Issue 4, Apri l-2011 5
ISSN 2229-5518
IJ SER 2011
3. Divide the input image into blocks of size wXw.
4. Estimate the local ori entation using equations
(4),(5),(6) and perform ridge smoothening.
5. Of the wXw i mage si ze, determi ne the di recti on of
gravi ty of progressi ve bl ocks (non-overl appi ng sub
block ) using equation (7).
6. Fine tune the orientation field.
7. The blocks with slope values ranging to 0 to pi/2
are located. Then a path is traced down until we
encounter a slope that is not ranging from 0 to pi/2
and that block is marked.
8. The bl ock that has the hi ghest number of marks
wil l compute the sl ope in negati ve y directi on and
output on x and y posi ti on whi ch wi l l be the core
The proposed technique can local ize the fingerpri nts at a
good success. Experiments have been performed on nearl y
180 fingerprints from different fi ngers and a variati on in
noise has been taken into consi derati on.
The results have been obtained in MATLAB, the core point
positi ons hence obtained are used to narrow down the
search when using a huge database of fingerprint i mages in
appl i cati ons l i ke bi ometri cs securi ty, forensi cs etc. The
foll owing table clearl y compares the accuracy of results of
the proposed technique with the exi sting state of the art
techni que.
TABLE 1: Compari son of results of the proposed technique
with the existing technique.
Ori gi nal Image Proposed
Techni que
Exi sti ng
Techni que
The proposed algori thm gives us near accurate results for
noisy images as shown below:
Fi g 10. Accuracy of the proposed techni que for a poor i nput
But the algorithm fai led its core point detection for images
having a very poor quali ty as shown in fi gure 11. Those
fingerprints are too oil y or wrinkled.
Fig 11. Poor quality fingerprint i mages
This paper proposes a novel method to consi stently and
preci sel y l ocate the si ngul ar poi nts i n fi ngerpri nt i mages.
The method appli ed is based on the enhanced fi ngerprint
International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research Vol ume 2, Issue 4, Apri l-2011 6
ISSN 2229-5518
IJ SER 2011
i mage ori entati on rel i abi li ty. Our future work wi l l focus on
improvements in locati ng the secondary singular points of
fi ngerpri nt i mages and cl assi fyi ng the fi ngerpri nts based
upon the locati on of the singulari ties so that the
computati onal ti me for matchi ng fi ngerpri nts i n a huge
database may reduce.
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Department of Computer Science & Software Engineering The University of
Western Australia, Australia.
Navrit Kaur Johal received her B.Tech degree in Computer Science
and Engineering from AIET, Faridkot and is pursuing her M.Tech in
Computer Sc. and Engg from Guru Nanak Dev Engg. College,
Amit Kamra received his B.Tech degree in Electronics Engineering in
2001. and completed his M.Tech in Information Technology in 2004.
He is working as Associate Professor in Guru Nanak Dev Engg.
College, Ludhiana and is currently pursuing his Ph.D in image