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Persistent Homology Machine Learning for Fingerprint Classification
N. Giansiracusa, R. Giansiracusa, C. Moon
The fingerprint classification problem is to sort fingerprints into predetermined groups, such as arch, loop, and whorl. It was asserted in the literature that minutiae points, which are commonly used for fingerprint matching, are not useful for classification. We show that, to the contrary, near state-of-the-art classification accuracy rates can be achieved when applying topological data analysis (TDA) to 3-dimensional point clouds of oriented minutiae points. We also apply TDA to fingerprint ink-roll images, which yields a lower accuracy rate but still shows promise; moreover, combining the two approaches outperforms each one individually. These methods use supervised learning applied to persistent homology and allow us to explore feature selection on barcodes, an important topic at the interface between TDA and machine learning. We test our classification algorithms on the NIST fingerprint database SD-27.