The fingerprints have been used as a mean for identifying individual for a long time because the fingerprints are unique and stay unchanged through out an individual life time. The chance of two peopleâ€”even identical twinsâ€”having the same fingerprint is probably less than one in a billion. Fingerprint comparison is the most widely used method of biometric authentication and the most cost effective.
Currently there are about 200 million FBI cards (10 fingerprints per cards) stored in cabinets that would fill an area of one acre. The manual effort of identifying and maintaining such a system is very cumbersome, time consuming and expensive as the number of finger print records grows at a rate from 30 to 50 thousands cards per day . With the advancement of computer technology the problem of automatic finger print identification has attracted wide attention among researchers that results in automatic fingerprint identification system (AFIS) available today.
Going in hands with the recognition problem is the problem of real-time matching system for large fingerprint data bases. Since the storage requirement for such a large amount of data can be thousands of terabytes system, data compression is another aspect of automatic identification using fingerprints. Currently the FBI data compression specification for finger is
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