Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Computer Science

Major Professor

Sudeep Sarkar, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dmitry Goldgof, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nagarajan Ranganathan, Ph.D.


affine space, eigen space, principal component analysis, optimal affine transformation, biometrics


In order to foster the maturity of face recognition analysis as a science, a well implemented baseline algorithm and good performance metrics are highly essential to benchmark progress. In the past, face recognition algorithms based on Principal Components Analysis(PCA) have often been used as a baseline algorithm. The objective of this thesis is to develop a strategy to estimate the best affine transformation, which when applied to the eigen space of the PCA face recognition algorithm can approximate the results of any given face recognition algorithm. The affine approximation strategy outputs an optimal affine transform that approximates the similarity matrix of the distances between a given set of faces generated by any given face recognition algorithm. The affine approximation strategy would help in comparing how close a face recognition algorithm is to the PCA based face recognition algorithm. This thesis work shows how the affine approximation algorithm can be used as a valuable tool to evaluate face recognition algorithms at a deep level.

Two test algorithms were choosen to demonstrate the usefulness of the affine approximation strategy. They are the Linear Discriminant Analysis(LDA) based face recognition algorithm and the Bayesian interpersonal and intrapersonal classifier based face recognition algorithm. Our studies indicate that both the algorithms can be approximated well. These conclusions were arrived based on the results produced by analyzing the raw similarity scores and by studying the identification and verification performance of the algorithms. Two training scenarios were considered, one in which both the face recognition and the affine approximation algorithm were trained on the same data set and in the other, different data sets were used to train both the algorithms. Gross error measures like the average RMS error and Stress-1 error were used to directly compare the raw similarity scores. The histogram of the difference between the similarity matrixes also clearly showed that the error spread is small for the affine approximation algorithm. The performance of the algorithms in the identification and the verification scenario were characterized using traditional CMS and ROC curves. The McNemar's test showed that the difference between the CMS and the ROC curves generated by the test face recognition algorithms and the affine approximation strategy is not statistically significant. The results were statistically insignificant at rank 1 for the first training scenario but for the second training scenario they became insignificant only at higher ranks. This difference in performance can be attributed to the different training sets used in the second training scenario.