Fusion of matching algorithms for human identification using dental X-ray radiographs

Omaima Nomir, Mohamed Abdel-Mottaleb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The goal of forensic dentistry is to identify individuals based on their dental characteristics. In this paper, we introduce a system that uses some scenarios to fuse three matching techniques for identifying individuals based on their dental X-ray images. The system integrates a method for teeth segmentation, and three different methods for representing and matching teeth. The first method for matching antemortem (AM) and postmortem (PM) images represents each tooth contour by a set of signature vectors obtained at salient points on the contour of the tooth. The second method uses hierarchical chamfer distance for matching AM and PM teeth to reduce the search space and accordingly reduce the retrieval time. The third matching method represents each tooth by a small set of features extracted using the forcefield energy function and Fourier descriptors. For each matcher, given a query PM image, AM radiographs that are mostly similar to the PM image, are found and presented to the user. To improve the performance of the system, we present different scenarios to fuse the three matchers. We fuse the matchers using three different approaches at the matching level, the decision level, and using the Bayesian framework. Preliminarily results demonstrate that fusing the matching techniques improves the overall performance of the dental identification system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4472862
Pages (from-to)223-233
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Antemortem (AM) radiographs
  • Biometrics
  • Dental images
  • Force field
  • Forensic radiology
  • Fourier descriptors
  • Fusion
  • Human identification
  • Image segmentation
  • Postmortem (PM) radiographs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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