A Physiological Vein Pattern Biometric System

Wang Lingyu, Graham Leedham, Cho Siu Yeung

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper presents a biometric system based on physiological hand vein patterns for personal identification. The paper proposes a framework to analyse the infrared vein patterns; and it provides solutions to two key stages of the framework: vein pattern image acquisition, and feature identification. We proposed and investigated two non-invasive image acquisition methods: far-infrared (FIR) thermography and near-infrared (NIR) imaging. Both imaging techniques are found capable of capturing the vein structures in the hand. Further analysis was carried out to identify the features of the vein pattern to provide strong discriminating power. The paper firstly utilizes the salient points features (SPF) of the vein patterns as a geometric representation of the shape of vein patterns. Experiments show SPF achieved a 0% of equal error rate (EER), which indicates the SPF can provide strong discriminating power for biometric purposes. Then, the paper proposed another novel feature type to analyze the vein patterns, the Line Edge Maps (LEM), which represents the vein patterns using a set of line segments. Experimental results showed that the LEM gives comparable matching accuracy to the one by SPF; and the LEM outperforms the SPF under the circumstances of object occlusion, which is more preferable in most of the applications. Additional experiments were carried out on identical twins, and the initial results show that the vein patterns are potentially genetically independent. Overall, the work in this paper shows the high potential of the vein patterns serving as a strong biometrics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-79
Number of pages12
JournalTransactions Hong Kong Institution of Engineers
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Biometrics
  • Feature Selection
  • Infrared
  • Vein Patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (all)


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