Can Chimeric Persons Be Used in Multimodal Biometric Authentication Experiments?

Combining multiple information sources, typically from several data streams is a very promising approach, both in experiments and to some extents in various real-life applications. A system that uses more than one behavioural and physiological characteristics to verify whether a person is who he/she claims to be is called a multimodal biometric authentication system. Due to lack of large true multimodal biometric datasets, the biometric trait of a user from a database is often combined with another different biometric trait of yet another user, thus creating a so-called a chimeric user. In the literature, this practice is justified based on the fact that the underlying biometric traits to be combined are assumed to be independent of each other given the user. To the best of our knowledge, there is no literature that approves or disapproves such practice. We study this topic from two aspects: 1) by clarifying the mentioned independence assumption and 2) by constructing a pool of chimeric users from a pool of true modality matched users (or simply ``true users'') taken from a bimodal database, such that the performance variability due to chimeric user can be compared with that due to true users. The experimental results suggest that for a large proportion of the experiments, such practice is indeed questionable.

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