Standard Article

Fingerprint Identification

  1. Rong Wang,
  2. Bir Bhanu

Published Online: 13 JUN 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470050118.ecse668

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

How to Cite

Wang, R. and Bhanu, B. 2008. Fingerprint Identification. Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering. 1–9.

Author Information

  1. University of California, Riverside, California

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 JUN 2008


Biometrics such as fingerprint, palm, face, gait, ear, signature, and speech are used to ensure a high-confidence in the recognition of an individual for high-security applications. Among these biometric traits, fingerprints have been used for a long period of time because of their distinctiveness and immutability. The study of fingerprint characteristics can be traced back to about 4500 years, the era of the pyramid-building in Egypt. However, the use of fingerprints for identification began in the mid-1800s.

Fingerprints have two fundamentally important characteristics: permanence and distinctiveness. It has been found that fingerprints are formed in the fetal stage and do not change naturally. Also, no two fingerprints ever are found to be exactly the same. Because of these interesting characteristics, fingerprints are used widely for human recognition and identification.


  • fingerprint;
  • fingerprint identification;
  • human recognition systems;
  • fingerprint verification systems;
  • security;
  • cancelable biometrics