Facial Biometrics from DNA

Dr. Peter Claes
KU Leuven, Department of Electrical Engineering, Belgium

AThe human face is a biological billboard of our identity, displaying physical health, sex, environmental exposures, kinship, ancestry and genotype. Therefore, facial identity, established by visible variations in faces, plays an important role in forensic investigations and biometrics. Variation in faces observed around us is simply the result of underlying differences in genotype or DNA. Indeed various sources of evidence support the fact that facial appearance is under strong genetic control, such as identical twins, family resemblance, population similarities as well as differences and dysmorphology. Therefore it should be theoretically possible to establish the link between both our facial appearance on the one hand and our DNA on the other hand and to match and/or predict one with and/or from the other. The genetic architecture of facial appearance is complex and not without challenge. In this seminar, I guide you through the science and the complexities of facial genetics and elaborate on a new computational framework that is able to match given faces to probe DNA. This facilitates the ability to perform facial biometrics from DNA, which is illustrated using the traditional identification and verification analyses known in biometrics. Furthermore, this also provides a novel computational approach to predict the face from DNA in a way that prediction results outperform the current state-of-the-art. Towards the future, this will generate innovative applications in forensics and biometrics, arming investigators with new and powerful tools to establish human identity from DNA.




Technical Committee on Biometrics (TC4)




European Association for Signal Processing




EAB European Association for Biometrics




University of Sassari