Demographic Disparities in 1-to-Many Facial Identification

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Aman Bhatta, Gabriella Pangelinan, Micheal C. King, Kevin W. Bowyer


Most studies to date that have examined demographic variations in face recognition accuracy have analyzed 1-to-1 matching accuracy, using images that could be described as "government ID quality". This paper analyzes the accuracy of 1-to-many facial identification across demographic groups, and in the presence of blur and reduced resolution in the probe image as might occur in "surveillance camera quality" images. Cumulative match characteristic curves(CMC) are not appropriate for comparing propensity for rank-one recognition errors across demographics, and so we introduce three metrics for this: (1) d' metric between mated and non-mated score distributions, (2) absolute score difference between thresholds in the high-similarity tail of the non-mated and the low-similarity tail of the mated distribution, and (3) distribution of (mated - non-mated rank one scores) across the set of probe images. We find that demographic variation in 1-to-many accuracy does not entirely follow what has been observed in 1-to-1 matching accuracy. Also, different from 1-to-1 accuracy, demographic comparison of 1-to-many accuracy can be affected by different numbers of identities and images across demographics. Finally, we show that increased blur in the probe image, or reduced resolution of the face in the probe image, can significantly increase the false positive identification rate. And we show that the demographic variation in these high blur or low resolution conditions is much larger for male/ female than for African-American / Caucasian. The point that 1-to-many accuracy can potentially collapse in the context of processing "surveillance camera quality" probe images against a "government ID quality" gallery is an important one.

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