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ISO/IEC 19795-1:2006 - Part 1: Principles and framework

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ISO/IEC 19795-1:2006 -Information technology — Biometric performance testing and reporting — Part 1: Principles and framework


The purpose of this part of ISO/IEC 19795 is to present the requirements and best scientific practices for conducting technical performance testing. This is necessary because even a short review of the technical literature on biometric device testing over the last two decades or more reveals a wide variety of conflicting and contradictory testing protocols [1-11]. Even single organizations have produced multiple tests, each using a different test method. Test protocols have varied not only because test goals and available data are different from one test to the next, but also because no standard has existed for protocol creation.


This part of ISO/IEC 19795

  • establishes general principles for testing the performance of biometric systems in terms of error rates and throughput rates for purposes including prediction of performance, comparison of performance, and verifying compliance with specified performance requirements;
  • specifies performance metrics for biometric systems;
  • specifies requirements on test methods, recording of data and reporting of results; and
  • provides a framework for developing and describing test protocols, to help avoid bias due to inappropriate data collection or analytic procedures, to help achieve the best estimate of field performance for the expended effort, and to improve understanding of the limits of applicability of the test results.

This part of ISO/IEC 19795 is applicable to empirical performance testing of biometric systems and algorithms through analysis of the matching scores and decisions output by the system, without detailed knowledge of the system’s algorithms or of the underlying distribution of biometric characteristics in the population of interest.


Not within the scope of this part of ISO/IEC 19795 is the measurement of error and throughput rates for people deliberately trying to circumvent correct recognition by the biometric system (i.e. active impostors).


Publication date: 2006

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