A facial recognition system is a computer application for automatically identifying or verifying a person from a digital image or a video frame from a video source. One of the ways to do this is by comparing selected facial features from the image and a facial database. A database management system ( DBMS) is Computer software designed for the purpose of managing Databases DBMSes may use any of a variety of Data models
It is typically used in security systems and can be compared to other biometrics such as fingerprint or eye iris recognition systems. Biometrics ( ancient Greek: bios life metron measure refers to two very different fields of study and application A fingerprint is an impression of the friction ridges of all or any part of the finger Iris recognition is a method of biometric authentication that uses pattern recognition techniques based on high-resolution images of the irides of an individual's 
Some facial recognition algorithms identify faces by extracting landmarks, or features, from an image of the subject's face. For example, an algorithm may analyze the relative position, size, and/or shape of the eyes, nose, cheekbones, and jaw. These features are then used to search for other images with matching features.  Other algorithms normalize a gallery of face images and then compress the face data, only saving the data in the image that is useful for face detection. A probe image is then compared with the face data. 
Popular recognition algorithms include eigenface, fisherface, the Hidden Markov model, and the neuronal motivated dynamic link matching. Eigenfaces are a set of Eigenvectors used in the Computer vision problem of human face recognition. A hidden Markov model ( HMM) is a Statistical model in which the system being modeled is assumed to be a Markov process with unknown parameters and the Dynamic link matching is a Neuronal model for face recognition.
A newly emerging trend, claimed to achieve previously unseen accuracies, is three-dimensional face recognition. Three-dimensional face recognition (3D face recognition is a modality of facial recognition methods in which the three-dimensional geometry of the human face is used This technique uses 3-D sensors to capture information about the shape of a face. This information is then used to identify distinctive features on the surface of a face, such as the contour of the eye sockets, nose, and chin. 
One advantage of 3-D facial recognition is that it is not affected by changes in lighitng like other techniques. It can also identify a face from a range of viewing angles, including a profile view. 
Another emerging trend uses the visual details of the skin, as captured in standard digital or scanned images. This technique, called skin texture analysis, turns the unique lines, patterns, and spots apparent in a person’s skin into a mathematical space. 
The London Borough of Newham, in the UK, has a facial recognition system built into their borough-wide CCTV system. The London Borough of Newham ( is a London borough in East London, within Greater London. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located Closed-circuit television ( CCTV) is the use of Video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific place limited set of monitors
The German Federal Police use a facial recognition system to allow voluntary subscribers to pass fully automated border controls at Frankfurt Rhein-Main international airport. The Bundespolizei ( BPOL) is the (primarily uniformed federal police force of Germany. Subscribers need to be European Union or Swiss citizens. The European Union ( EU) is a political and economic union of twenty-seven member states, located primarily in Switzerland (English pronunciation; Schweiz Swiss German: Schwyz or Schwiiz Suisse Svizzera Svizra officially the Swiss Confederation Griffin Investigations is famous for its recognition system used by casinos to catch card counters and other blacklisted individuals. Griffin Investigations was once the most prominent group of Private investigators specializing in the Gambling industry Card counting is a Card game strategy used to determine when a player has a probability advantage
The Australian Customs Service has an automated border processing system called SmartGate that uses facial recognition. Smartgate is an automated border processing system being introduced by the Australian Customs Service. The system compares the face of the individual with the image in the e-passport microchip, certifying that the holder of the passport is the rightful owner.
Pennsylvania Justice Network searches crime scene photographs and CCTV footage in the mugshot database of previous arrests. A number of cold cases have been resolved since the system became operational in 2005. Other law enforcement agencies in the USA and abroad use arrest mugshot databases in their forensic investigative work.
U. S. Department of State operates one of the largest face recognition systems in the world with over 75 million photographs that is actively used for visa processing.
Spaceship Earth in EPCOT uses this for the touch screen part of the ride. Spaceship is a World view term usually expressing concern over the use of limited resources available on Earth.
In addition to being used for security systems, authorities have found a number of other applications for facial recognition systems. While earlier post 9/11 deployments were well publicized trials, more recent deployments are rarely written about due to their covert nature.
At Super Bowl XXXV in January 2001, police in Tampa Bay, Florida, used Indentix’s facial recognition software, FaceIt, to search for potential criminals and terrorists in attendance at the event. Super Bowl XXXV was an American football game played on January 28, 2001 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Florida to decide  (it found 19 people with pending arrest warrants)
In the 2000 presidential election, the Mexican government employed facial recognition software to prevent voter fraud. Some individuals had been registering to vote under several different names, in an attempt to place multiple votes. By comparing new facial images to those already in the voter database, authorities were able to reduce duplicate registrations.  Similar technologies are being used in the United States to prevent people from obtaining fake identification cards and driver’s licenses. 
There are also a number of potential uses for facial recognition that are currently being developed. For example, the technology could be used as a security measure at ATM’s; instead of using a bank card or personal identification number, the ATM would capture an image of your face, and compare it to your photo in the bank database to confirm your identity. This same concept could also be applied to computers; by using a webcam to capture a digital image of yourself, your face could replace your password as a means to log-in. 
As part of the investigation of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann the British police are calling on visitors to the Ocean Club Resort, Praia da Luz in Portugal or the surrounding areas in the two weeks leading up to the child's disappearance on Thursday 3 May 2007 to provide copies of any photographs of people taken during their stay, in an attempt to identify the abductor using a biometric facial recognition application. Madeleine McCann disappeared on the evening of Thursday 3 May 2007 from the resort of Praia da Luz, in the Algarve region of Portugal, just days short Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic (República Portuguesa is a country on the Iberian Peninsula. Events 1491 - Kongo monarch Nkuwu Nzinga is baptised by Portuguese missionaries adopting the baptismal name of João Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. 
Among the different biometric techniques facial recognition may not be the most reliable and efficient but its great advantage is that it does not require aid from the test subject. Properly designed systems installed in airports, multiplexes, and other public places can detect presence of criminals among the crowd. Other biometrics like fingerprints, iris, and speech recognition cannot perform this kind of mass scanning. However, questions have been raised on the effectiveness of facial recognition software in cases of railway and airport security.
Face recognition is not perfect and struggles to perform under certain conditions. Ralph Gross, a researcher at the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute, describes one obstacle related to the viewing angle of the face: "Face recognition has been getting pretty good at full frontal faces and 20 degrees off, but as soon as you go towards profile, there've been problems. "
Other conditions where face recognition does not work well include poor lighting, sunglasses, long hair, or other objects partially covering the subject’s face, and low resolution images. 
Critics of the technology complain that the London Borough of Newham scheme has, as of 2004, never recognized a single criminal, despite several criminals in the system's database living in the Borough and the system having been running for several years. The London Borough of Newham ( is a London borough in East London, within Greater London. "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " "Not once, as far as the police know, has Newham's automatic facial recognition system spotted a live target. " This information seems to conflict with claims that the system was credited with a 34% reduction in crime - which better explains why the system was then rolled out to Birmingham also. 
An experiment by the local police department in Tampa, Florida, had similarly disappointing results. Police are agents or agencies usually of the executive, empowered to enforce the law and to effect public and social order through the legitimatized use of force Florida ( is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States, bordering Alabama to the northwest and Georgia to the 
Despite the potential benefits of this technology, many citizens are concerned that their privacy will be invaded. Some fear that it could lead to a “total surveillance society,” with the government and other authorities having the ability to know where you are, and what you are doing, at all times. This is not to be an underestimated concept as history has shown that states have typically abused such access before. 
In 2006, the performance of the latest face recognition algorithms were evaluated in the Face Recognition Grand Challenge. High-resolution face images, 3-D face scans, and iris images were used in the tests. The results indicated that the new algorithms are 10 times more accurate than the face recognition algorithms of 2002 and 100 times more accurate than those of 1995. Some of the algorithms were able to outperform human participants in recognizing faces and could uniquely identify identical twins. 
Pioneers of Automated Facial Recognition include: Woody Bledsoe, Helen Chan Wolf, and Charles Bisson. Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Bledsoe ( November 12 1921 Maysville Oklahoma, U
During 1964 and 1965, Bledsoe, along with Helen Chan and Charles Bisson, worked on using the computer to recognize human faces (Bledsoe 1966a, 1966b; Bledsoe and Chan 1965). He was proud of this work, but because the funding was provided by an unnamed intelligence agency that did not allow much publicity, little of the work was published. Given a large database of images (in effect, a book of mug shots) and a photograph, the problem was to select from the database a small set of records such that one of the image records matched the photograph. The success of the method could be measured in terms of the ratio of the answer list to the number of records in the database. Bledsoe (1966a) described the following difficulties:
|“||This recognition problem is made difficult by the great variability in head rotation and tilt, lighting intensity and angle, facial expression, aging, etc. Some other attempts at facial recognition by machine have allowed for little or no variability in these quantities. Yet the method of correlation (or pattern matching) of unprocessed optical data, which is often used by some researchers, is certain to fail in cases where the variability is great. In particular, the correlation is very low between two pictures of the same person with two different head rotations.||„|
—Woody Bledsoe, 1966
This project was labeled man-machine because the human extracted the coordinates of a set of features from the photographs, which were then used by the computer for recognition. Using a graphics tablet (GRAFACON or RAND TABLET), the operator would extract the coordinates of features such as the center of pupils, the inside corner of eyes, the outside corner of eyes, point of widows peak, and so on. A graphics tablet (or digitizing tablet, graphics pad, drawing tablet) is a computer Input device that allows one to hand-draw images and graphics A widow's peak (widow's brow is a descending V-shaped point in the middle of the hairline (above the forehead From these coordinates, a list of 20 distances, such as width of mouth and width of eyes, pupil to pupil, were computed. These operators could process about 40 pictures an hour. When building the database, the name of the person in the photograph was associated with the list of computed distances and stored in the computer. In the recognition phase, the set of distances was compared with the corresponding distance for each photograph, yielding a distance between the photograph and the database record. The closest records are returned.
This brief description is an oversimplification that fails in general because it is unlikely that any two pictures would match in head rotation, lean, tilt, and scale (distance from the camera). Thus, each set of distances is normalized to represent the face in a frontal orientation. To accomplish this normalization, the program first tries to determine the tilt, the lean, and the rotation. Then, using these angles, the computer undoes the effect of these transformations on the computed distances. To compute these angles, the computer must know the three-dimensional geometry of the head. Because the actual heads were unavailable, Bledsoe (1964) used a standard head derived from measurements on seven heads.
After Bledsoe left PRI in 1966, this work was continued at the Stanford Research Institute, primarily by Peter Hart. SRI International, based in the United States is one of the world's largest contract Research institutes. Peter E Hart (born c 1940s is an American computer scientist and entrepreneur In experiments performed on a database of over 2000 photographs, the computer consistently outperformed humans when presented with the same recognition tasks (Bledsoe 1968). Peter Hart (1996) enthusiastically recalled the project with the exclamation, "It really worked!"
By about 1997, the system developed by Christoph von der Malsburg and graduate students of the University of Bochum in Germany and the University of Southern California in the United States outperformed most systems with those of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Maryland rated next. See also Postgraduate Training in Education Postgraduate education (synonymous in North America with graduate education, and sometimes described Ruhr University Bochum ( German Ruhr-Universität Bochum, RUB) located on the southern hills of central Ruhr area Bochum The University of Southern California (commonly referred to as USC, SC, Southern California, and incorrectly The University of Maryland College Park (often referred to as The University of Maryland UMD, UMCP or simply Maryland) is a public research The Bochum system was developed through funding by the United States Army Research Laboratory. The Army Research Laboratory (ARL is the US Army 's corporate research laboratory The software was sold as ZN-Face and used by customers such as Deutsche Bank and operators of airports and other busy locations. Deutsche Bank AG (literally "German Bank" ˈdɔɪtʃə,) is an international Universal bank with a broad private clients franchise headquartered in An airport is a location where Aircraft such as airplanes, Helicopters and blimps take off and land The software was "robust enough to make identifications from less-than-perfect face views. It can also often see through such impediments to identification as mustaches, beards, changed hair styles and glasses—even sunglasses". 
In about January of 2007, image searches were "based on the text surrounding a photo," for example, if text nearby mentions the image content. Polar Rose technology can guess from a photograph, in about 1. 5 seconds, what any individual may look like in three dimensions, and thought they "will ask users to input the names of people they recognize in photos online" to help build a database.