Face detection of ubiquitous surveillance images for biometric security from an image enhancement perspective

Kashif Iqbal, Michael O. Odetayo, Anne James

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Security methods based on biometrics have been gaining importance increasingly in the last few years due to recent advances in biometrics technology and its reliability and efficiency in real world applications. Also, several major security disasters that occurred in the last decade have given a new momentum to this research area. The successful development of biometric security applications cannot only minimise such threats but may also help in preventing them from happening on a global scale. Biometric security methods take into account humans’ unique physical or behavioural traits that help to identify them based on their intrinsic characteristics. However, there are a number of issues related to biometric security, in particular with regard to the poor visibility of the images produced by surveillance cameras that need to be addressed. In this paper, we address this issue by proposing an integrated image enhancement approach for face detection. The proposed approach is based on contrast enhancement and colour balancing methods. The contrast enhancement method is used to improve the contrast, while the colour balancing method helps to achieve a balanced colour. Importantly, in the colour balancing method, a new process for colour cast adjustment is introduced which relies on statistical calculation. It can adjust the colour cast and maintain the luminance of the whole image at the same level. We evaluate the performance of the proposed approach by applying three face detection methods (skin colour based face detection, feature based face detection and image based face detection) to surveillance images before and after enhancement using the proposed approach. The results show a significant improvement in face detection when the proposed approach was applied.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)133-146
    JournalJournal of Ambient Intelligence and Humanized Computing
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Bibliographical note

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    The final publication is available at www.springerlink.com.


    • image enhancement
    • colour balancing
    • face detection
    • surveillance images


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