Bigger, Faster, Cheaper

As databases get bigger, they take longer to search. For a while, and in many applications, nobody really cares. Does it really matter if a criminal database fingerprint search takes one second or 1.5 seconds? A city of 1.5 million people may arrest 40 people on a busy day. In cases like this, the limiting factor to how many times a process can be repeated isn’t in the technology.

But if the world is headed the way many expect, biometric searches of large databases will be moving from applications where fractions of a second don’t matter much, as in the case above, to something that looks a lot more like what banks or large web sites do: handle thousands of transactions per hour among thousands of users with both the quantity of transactions and users fluctuating wildly over the course of a day, and generally increasing over time. Now, how the search happens starts to matter a lot and technique starts to affect cost.

In the biometrics world, sensor and algorithm innovation get a lot of attention. Database architecture and search techniques don’t. This press release from BIO-key is a refreshing change highlighting one technique programmers can use to cope with ever-larger biometric databases.

Accelerated Biometric Indexing Search: New Fingerprint Matcher Design Yields Higher Accuracy at Higher Speeds per Dollar Invested (Press Release via pr-inside.com)

“Using Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) products, BIO-key is expanding the way a biometric search can be performed which dramatically improves speed over conventional approaches. This revolution comes from the use of a highly parallel search architecture, allowing our solutions to perform faster and look deeper while improving speed and accuracy,” stated Renat Zhdanov, PhD, Vice President, Chief Scientist, BIO-key International.

Initial tests of the new accelerated architecture show speed results of several millions matches per second, on a typical PC. This provides biometric search acceleration of several orders of magnitude on that PC alone. “These performance gains mean the required hardware and support costs for larger systems, or those heavily used in the Cloud from mobile devices or other sources, can now be greatly reduced, providing for thousands of times more throughput per dollar spent,” stated Mira LaCous, Senior VP of Technology and Development, BIO-key International.

Twitter: March Biometric Chat – Large Scale Deployments with Accenture’s Cyrille Bataller




UPDATE March 28, 2013:
John has posted the chat transcript at Storify.





When:
March 28, 2013 11:00 am EST, 8:00 am PST, 16:00 pm BST, 17:00 pm (CEST), 23:00 pm (SGT), 0:00 (JST)

Where:
tweetchat.com/room/biometricchat (or Twitter hashtag #biometricchat)

What:
Tweet chat on the use of biometric identification for border control, ePassports, visa applications, and voter registration with @CyrilleBataller of @Accenture. Mr. Bataller appears in the video Biometrics and Privacy: A Positive Match available at the Accenture site here. I’d embed it if I could.

Topics:
Topics: The use of biometrics to secure borders, process visa applications & ePassports, and secure voting registries

More at the M2SYS blog.
UPDATE: Questions for the upcoming chat

Earlier topics have included:
Privacy
Mobile biometrics
Workforce management
Biometrics in the cloud
Law enforcement
Privacy again
Biometrics for global development

Modalities such as iris and voice have also come in for individual attention.

I always enjoy these. Many thanks to John at M2SYS for putting these together.

Kenya BVR: Enrollment kits are the easy part

Kenya’s flirtation with electoral biometrics has been in the news a lot lately. That fact has been reflected in the content and analysis hear at the SecurLinx blog (click here).

An often overlooked aspect of large biometric deployments is how small a piece of the overall solution biometric hardware is. The following article does as good a job as any I’ve seen adding context and detail.

BVR Is Unworkable; Its Use In 2013 Will Just Be A Disaster (The Star)

The debate on the Biometric Voter Registration has taken an unfortunate and impractical twist due to misinformation by politicians and the usual busybodies in Kenya. For the Executive and political class to insist that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission must implement BVR six months to elections is to invite disaster.

The issue around BVR at this point is not just about procurement. The main problem around BVR is implementation. BVR is not just a briefcase with sophisticated equipment. It is an integrated information system that comprises hardware, software, data, processes and people. Procurement will only deal with hardware. The devil is in implementing the software and ensuring the information system unlocks the promised benefits. Unfortunately, our politicians have hyped the benefits and created expectations of unrealistic dimensions.

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