The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announcedthat it is running the Iris Challenge Evaluation (ICE), the firstlarge-scale evaluation of iris recognition.
Iris recognition is a potentially valuable biometric (a characteristicsuch as fingerprints that can be used to identify a person). Previousevaluations of iris recognition have concentrated on the performance ofsystems. The ICE is the first evaluation designed to measure theaccuracy of the underlying technology that makes iris recognitionpossible.
The goals of the ICE are to (1) promote the development and advancementof iris recognition and (2) assess the technology's current level ofperformance. This will be accomplished in two phases.
Phase I--which will be conducted from now until the end of theyear--will seek researchers and developers from industry, researchinstitutions and academia who interested in participating in irisrecognition "challenge problems." Taking part in these "challengeproblems" (designed to promote technology development) will giveparticipants the opportunity to improve their current performance ratesand help prepare them for ICE Phase II.
Phase II--tentatively scheduled for the first quarter of 2006--willgive iris recognition system developers an opportunity to take part ina large-scale, independent evaluation. To guarantee accurateassessments, the ICE will measure iris matching performance withsequestered data (iris images not previously seen by the participants).A standard dataset and test methodology will be employed so that allparticipants are evaluated evenly.
The ICE is sponsored jointly by the following federal agencies: NIST;two Department of Homeland Security agencies--the Science andTechnology Directorate and the Transportation Security Administration;two Department of Justice agencies--the Federal Bureau of Investigationand the National Institute of Justice; the Intelligence TechnologyInnovation Center under the Office of the Director of NationalIntelligence; and the interagency Technical Support Working Group, theU.S. national forum that identifies, prioritizes and coordinatesinteragency and international research and development requirements forcombating terrorism.
To learn more about the ICE and access instructions on participating in the project, go to http://iris.nist.gov/ICE.
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