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Theses

Segmentation of irises acquired in degraded conditions

Abstract : This thesis is focused on the development of robust segmentation algorithms for iris recognition systems working in degraded acquisition conditions. In controlled acquisition scenarios, iris segmentation is well handled by simple segmentation schemes, which modeled the iris borders by circles and assumed that the iris can only be occluded by eyelids. However, such simple models tend to fail when the iris is strongly occluded or off-angle, or when the iris borders are not sharp enough. In this thesis, we propose a complete segmentation system working efficiently despite the above-mentioned degradations of the input data. After a study of the recent state of the art in iris recognition, we identified four key issues that an iris segmentation system should handle when being confronted to images of poor quality, leading this way to four key modules for the complete system: • The system should be able locate the pupil in the image in order to initialize more complex algorithms. To address this problem, we propose an original and effective way to first segment dark elements in the image that can lead to mistakes of the pupil localization process. This rough segmentation detects high frequency areas of the image and then the system uses the pupil homogeneity as a criterion to identify the pupil area among other dark regions of the image. • Accurate segmentation of the iris texture in the eye image is a core task of iris segmentation systems. We propose to segment the iris texture by Active Contours because they meet both the requirement in robustness and accuracy required to perform segmentation on large databases of degraded images. We studied several Active Contours that varies in speed, robustness, accuracy and in the features they use to model the iris region. We make a comparative evaluation of the algorithms’ influence on the system performance. • A complete segmentation system must also accurately estimate the iris shape in occluded regions, in order to format the iris texture for recognition. We propose a robust and accurate scheme based on a variational formulation to fit an elliptic model on the iris borders. We explicitly derive evolution equations for ellipses using the Active Contours formalism. We also propose an effective way to limit the sensitivity of this process to initial conditions. This part of our work is currently under review for final acceptance in the international journal Computer Vision and Image Understanding (CVIU). • Finally, we address the main issue of automatic detection of segmentation failures of the system. Few works in the literature address measuring the quality of a segmentation algorithm, critical task for an operational system. We propose in this thesis a set of novel quality measures for segmentation and show a correlation between each of them with the intrinsic recognition performance of the segmented images. We perform fusion of the individual quality measures via a Support Vector Regression (SVR) algorithm, in order to propose a more robust global segmentation quality score
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Thierry Lefevre. Segmentation of irises acquired in degraded conditions. Other. Institut National des Télécommunications, 2013. English. ⟨NNT : 2013TELE0005⟩. ⟨tel-01726957⟩

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