What Does Minutiae Mean?

In the field of biometrics, minutiae refer to certain small features of a fingerprint image. In certain security settings, computers may use small elements of a fingerprint shape to identify an individual for access.


Techopedia Explains Minutiae

In essence, minutiae can be applied to any type of image, but they are often discussed in relation to a biometric fingerprint image. Details included in minutiae include bifurcations and the endings of ridges on a fingerprint pattern. Scar contours and edges may also be considered minutiae.

Scanning methods using minutiae are common in fingerprint biometrics analysis. After pinpointing the minutiae, the computer will try to compare them with a separate image in order to match the individual’s print or print image capture to a stored scan. IT experts have to address issues with alignment and segmentation in order to provide an accurate matching. Computer systems may use reference templates and query templates to process matching results for biometric identification.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…