Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Electrical and Computer Engineering (Engineering)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Mohamed Abdel-Mottaleb - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Shahriar Negahdaripour - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Kamal Premaratne - Committee Member

Fourth Committee Member

James W. Modestino - Committee Member

Fifth Committee Member

Ahmed Elgammal - Committee Member


This dissertation describes a new methodology for multi-modal (2-D + 3-D) face modeling and recognition. There are advantages in using each modality for face recognition. For example, the problems of pose variation and illumination condition, which cannot be resolved easily by using the 2-D data, can be handled by using the 3-D data. However, texture, which is provided by 2-D data, is an important cue that cannot be ignored. Therefore, we use both the 2-D and 3-D modalities for face recognition and fuse the results of face recognition by each modality to boost the overall performance of the system. In this dissertation, we consider two different cases for multi-modal face modeling and recognition. In the first case, the 2-D and 3-D data are registered. In this case we develop a unified graph model called Attributed Relational Graph (ARG) for face modeling and recognition. Based on the ARG model, the 2-D and 3-D data are included in a single model. The developed ARG model consists of nodes, edges, and mutual relations. The nodes of the graph correspond to the landmark points that are extracted by an improved Active Shape Model (ASM) technique. In order to extract the facial landmarks robustly, we improve the Active Shape Model technique by using the color information. Then, at each node of the graph, we calculate the response of a set of log-Gabor filters applied to the facial image texture and shape information (depth values); these features are used to model the local structure of the face at each node of the graph. The edges of the graph are defined based on Delaunay triangulation and a set of mutual relations between the sides of the triangles are defined. The mutual relations boost the final performance of the system. The results of face matching using the 2-D and 3-D attributes and the mutual relations are fused at the score level. In the second case, the 2-D and 3-D data are not registered. This lack of registration could be due to different reasons such as time lapse between the data acquisitions. Therefore, the 2-D and 3-D modalities are modeled independently. For the 3-D modality, we developed a fully automated system for 3-D face modeling and recognition based on ridge images. The problem with shape matching approaches such as Iterative Closest Points (ICP) or Hausdorff distance is the computational complexity. We model the face by 3-D binary ridge images and use them for matching. In order to match the ridge points (either using the ICP or the Hausdorff distance), we extract three facial landmark points: namely, the two inner corners of the eyes and the tip of the nose, on the face surface using the Gaussian curvature. These three points are used for initial alignment of the constructed ridge images. As a result of using ridge points, which are just a fraction of the total points on the surface of the face, the computational complexity of the matching is reduced by two orders of magnitude. For the 2-D modality, we model the face using an Attributed Relational Graph. The results of the 2-D and 3-D matching are fused at the score level. There are various techniques to fuse the 2-D and 3-D modalities. In this dissertation, we fuse the matching results at the score level to enhance the overall performance of our face recognition system. We compare the Dempster-Shafer theory of evidence and the weighted sum rule for fusion. We evaluate the performance of the above techniques for multi-modal face recognition on various databases such as Gavab range database, FRGC (Face Recognition Grand Challenge) V2.0, and the University of Miami face database.


Facial Features Extraction; 2-D Face Recognition; 3-D Face Recognition; Biometrics; Multi-Modal Face Modeling And Recognition