The final of the 15th edition of the EAB European Biometrics Max Snijder, Research, and Industry Awards was held virtually on 15.09.2021. The awards are granted annually to individuals who have been judged by a panel of internationally respected experts to be making a significant contribution to the field of biometrics research and innovations in Europe. The awards are recognizing innovation in academic research as well as in industry.
This year’s Industry Award was won by Pawel Drozdowski, who conducted his PhD project at da/sec biometrics and internet-security research group and Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and presented the topic “Efficient privacy-preserving biometric identification in large-scale multibiometric systems”.
Commercial deployments of biometric systems are faced with tremendous requirements w.r.t. computational workload and biometric performance. In this thesis, methods have been developed which allow to reduce the computations associated with biometric identification transactions by between one and two orders of magnitude, while simultaneously maintaining or improving the biometric performance. The developed methods exhibit high algorithmic transparency and explainability due to being entirely handcrafted and not reliant on machine learning. They also are highly flexible and could in many cases be seamlessly incorporated into existing systems. From the academic perspective, the work addresses several areas of research which have not previously been considered in the literature. It couples the methods of computational workload reduction with additional relevant constraints or extensions, such as being modality-agnostic, working prior to feature extraction, utilising information fusion, and integrating biometric template protection. In several cases, the proposed methods have been among the first ones in their respective areas published in the scientific literature.