Evolving the Face of a Criminal: How to Search a Face Space More Effectively

Frowd, Charlie orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5082-1259, Bruce, Vicki, Gannon, Carol, Robinson, Mark, Tredoux, Colin, Park, Jo, Mcintyre, Alex and Hancock, Peter J.B. (2007) Evolving the Face of a Criminal: How to Search a Face Space More Effectively. In: ECSIS Symposium on Bio-inspired, Learning, and Intelligent Systems for Security, 9th-10th August 2007, Edinburgh, UK.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1109/BLISS.2007.28


Witnesses and victims of serious crime are often required to construct a facial composite, a visual likeness of a suspect’s face. The traditional method is for them to select individual facial features to build a face, but often these images are of poor quality. We have developed a new method whereby witnesses repeatedly select instances from an array of complete faces and a composite is evolved over time by searching a face model built using PCA. While past research suggests that the new approach is superior, performance is far from ideal. In the current research, face models are built which match a witness’s description of a target. It is found that such ‘tailored’ models promote better quality composites, presumably due to a more effective search, and also that smaller models may be even better. The work has implications for researchers who are using statistical modelling techniques for recognising faces.

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