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Face Recognition Techniques

  1. Wenyi Zhao

Published Online: 13 JUN 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470050118.ecse637

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

How to Cite

Zhao, W. 2008. Face Recognition Techniques. Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering. 1–10.

Author Information

  1. Institutive Surgical, Inc., Sunnyvale, California

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 JUN 2008


Biometrics is becoming a buzz word because of the increasing demand for user-friendly systems that provide both secure and efficient services. At present, one needs to remember numbers and/or carry identifications (ID) all the time, for example, a badge ID entering an office building, a password for computer or ATM access, and a photo- ID as wall as an airline ticket for air travel. Although very reliable methods of biometric personal identification exist (e.g., fingerprint analysis and iris scans), these methods rely on the cooperation of the participants, whereas a personal identification system based on the analysis of frontal or profile images of the face is often effective without the participant's cooperation or knowledge. Face recognition is a fascinating research topic. On one hand, many algorithms and systems have reached a certain level of maturity after 35 years of research. For example, face detection technology has been used in digital cameras for automatic focus/exposure. On the other hand, the success of these systems is limited by the conditions imposed by many real applications. The focus of current face recognition research is to investigate various techniques to improve the robustness of existing face recognition systems while the ultimate goal is to build machine systems that are close to or even better than the human perception system.


  • machine recognition of faces;
  • human perception of faces;
  • pattern recognition;
  • computer vision;
  • psychology;
  • neuroscience;
  • appearance methods for face recognition;
  • robust face recognition;
  • brief development history;
  • future directions