BTAS 2010 Conference Report

The Fourth IEEE International Conference on Biometrics Theory, Applications and Systems was held in Crystal City, Washington D.C. on September 28-30, 2010. The submission to BTAS ’10 was more than a 20% increase over last year and we had a similar number of attendees as last year (180). This year’s program included peer-reviewed research contributions presented as 33 long oral and 48 combined short oral + poster papers, three invited talks and a panel discussion. The distinction between oral and poster presentations is perhaps more blurred than usual at BTAS, in part since all paper presenters give an oral presentation (though the short oral sessions have questions only at the poster itself). The program again features a broad international representation, including: Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States. This year’s program again also features broad industry representation, including: Booz Allen Hamilton, Digital Signal Corporation, Eurecom, General Electric, Google Inc., Greyc, Honeywell ACS Labs, L-1 Identity Solutions, Mitre, Morpho, Raytheon BBN Technologies, Ryan Net Works LLC, TELECOM SudParis, and Vision and Security Technology. The breadth of international and institutional representation continues to be one of the strong positive aspects of BTAS.

As usual, BTAS remains very grateful to its corporate sponsors: Honeywell is graciously and generously, as in the past four years, sponsored the Best Student Paper Award. As in previous years, Progeny Systems sponsored the conference reception and L1 Identity Systems and Cognitec were general corporate sponsors. We sincerely appreciate the support of each of these companies to this conference series. BTAS is cosponsored by IEEE Systems Man and Cybernetics and the Biometrics Council.

The Best Student Paper award is the most prestigious prize at the conference. Of the papers presented in the Best Reviewed BTAS 2010 papers (a session traditionally held at the end of the BTAS conference two papers were jointly awarded this prize: “Local Ordinal Contrast Pattern Histograms for Spatiotemporal, Lip-based Speaker Authentication” by Budhaditya Goswami, Chi Ho Chan Josef Kittler, and William Christmas (all of University of Surrey) and “On a Taxonomy of Facial Features” by Brendan Klare and Anil Jain (both of Michigan State University) were joint recipients of this award. An prize was also awarded for the Most Innovative Topic, and was awarded to “Subject Identification from Electroencephalogram (EEG) Signals During Imagined Speech” by Katharine Brigham and VijayaKumar Bhagavatula (both of Carnegie-Mellon University). There was an excellent set of papers at the conference and this gave the Organising Committee a difficult job of selecting the best of the best.

Following a tradition started in 2008, conference attendees voted for Best Poster Paper awards. A reflection of the standard achieved by the poster papers is that all papers achieved a few votes, though the winner in each case was clear. Monday’s winner was “Massively Parallelized CUDA Accelerated Iris Template Matching on Graphical Processing Units (GPUs)” by Nicholas Vandal and Marios Savvides (both of Carnegie Mellon University); Tuesday’s Best Poster paper was for Face Recognition for Newborns: A Preliminary Study” by Samarth Bharadwaj, Himanshu Bhatt, Richa Singh, Mayank Vatsa (all of Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi), and Sanjay Singh (Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University) and the last day’s prize was awarded to “Gender Classification from Infants to Seniors” by Yishi Wang, Karl Ricanek, Cuixian Chen, and Yaw Chang (all from University of North Carolina Wilmington).

This year’s conference featured four excellent invited speakers. Monday’s invited talk, entitled “Grand Challenges in Biometrics” was given by Matthew Turk (University of California, Santa Barbara). Tuesday’s talk, “Large Scale Image Annotation: Learning to Rank with Joint Word-Image Embeddings” was given by Samy Bengio (Google Inc.). The Conference Banquet was entertained and enthused by Tim Valentine (Goldsmiths, University of London) addressing “Confirmation Bias in Biometric and Forensic Identification”. Wednesday’s talk, “Face and Ocular Challenges (FOCS)”, was given by Jonathon Phillips (NIST) who gave an excellent talk at short notice (and thus was awarded the Invited Paper Prize) which stimulated a lengthy discussion. Each of the invited speakers did a great job and their talks were followed by lengthy discussions. The Proceedings do not contain papers corresponding to these talks, but check the conference web site for a copy of the speakers’ slides.

Luckily, the conference had space for a panel discussion and this was on Large Scale (Biometric) Systems, chaired by Arun Ross. The panellists were Partick Grother (NIST), Salil Prabhakar (Digital Persona) and Mark Burge (Mitre Corp.). As biometric system continue to be rolled out in security and immigration systems it is no wonder that this panel inspired some lively discussions.

The conference would not have happened without much input and hard work from other members of the Organising Committee and by the inspired efforts of Julie Dowling our conference administrator (and Harriet Baldwin and Ginny Watterson both at Notre Dame). Pat Flynn did an excellent job with the proceedings again; Kevin Bowyer worked tirelessly behind the scenes. We remain very grateful to the program committee and reviewers from whose input Arun Ross, Sudeep Sarkar and Kar-Ann Toh (the Program Co-Chairs) selected an excellent set of papers.

BTAS 2010 was an excellent conference and a real research experience: papers were well presented and inspired many lively discussions. If you missed it, you missed out. Next year’s conference will combine BTAS with ICB to form the IAPR and IEEE co-sponsored International Joint Conference on Biometrics (IJCB) to be held in Washington, 11-13 October 2011. We look forward to seeing you there.

Mark Nixon
General Chair, BTAS 2010