NIST, better known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is a part of the U.S Commerce Department. NIST develops and promotes measurement standards. It also supports industry and science in implementing these standards. The corresponding standard allows the consistent exchange of many features with the fingerprint itself. Also, it provides information about the recording department and the applied technology.
In 1986, law enforcement organizations sent secured latent fingerprints to the FBI. They had continuative possibilities of investigating those prints. With the FBI including other security agencies, like the Military or Homeland Security, the fingerprint has gone through many hands. In order to guarantee a uniform documentation of the results, a standard was necessary.
In 1992, the NIST started programs for the recognition of fingerprints. Over the years, several projects have been developed:
Fingerprint Vendor Technology Evaluation (FpVTE):
The FpVTE is a technology for the evaluation of fingerprint-matching, -identification and -verification systems. FpVTE is used to evaluate fingerprint systems concerning their capability.
Slap Fingerprint Segmentation Evaluations (SlapSeg):
NIST has elaborated two seperat slap fingerprint segmentation evaluations to be able to estimate the status quo of fingerprint segmentation technology: SlapSeg04 and SlapsegII.
Proprietary Fingerprint Template Evaluations (PFT):
The PFT evaluation reports the accuracy of the algorithm. PFTII is a 1-to-1 verification evaluation. It does not report 1-to-many verifications.
Minutiae Interoperability Exchange (MINEX):
The INCITS 378 template facilitates the exchange of biometric templates. Furthermore, the MINEX-evaluation supports the error evaluation and verification of the accuracy of image-based implementations.
Evaluation of Latent Fingerprint Technologies (ELFT):
ELFT is a standard for the assessment of the core capabilities of current latent matching algorithms.
The image quality of fingerprints can be enhanced applying different approaches. Therefor the Biometric Quality-program was launched.
The NIST-Standard is used in several countries all over the world for a consistent data collection. EVISCAN also supports NIST as an output format. Today, the output file is typically translated as “.xml”. The most common used type is the Interpol-version.