Conference Report on IEEE BIOSIG 2020

The 19th edition of the International Conference of the Biometrics Special Interest Group (BIOSIG) took place at Fraunhofer IGD in Darmstadt, Germany from September 16 to 18. BIOSIG-2020 was part of the Darmstadt Biometric Week, which attracted more than 90 participants. This year the BIOSIG conference was held as a virtual event for the first time.

The program consisted of scientific research contributions and biometrics-related key-note presentations from the U.S. (DHS-OBIM and Zoloz) and China (Chinese Academy of Sciences).

The conference started with a virtual welcome reception in which Jim Wayman entertained the audience with his talk “1997 and trading biometrics for beer”.

The first keynote talk was given by John Boyd (DHS-OBIM, U.S.) (FRONTEX Research and Development Unit) who provided an insight with regard to use of identity to access resources and benefits (i.e., identity as an asset) or its concealment to maintain anonymity (i.e., identity as a liability). He discussed the needs and challenges resulting from effects of COVID-19 on identity management (from collection to decision making). It was concluded that more accurate and less intrusive solutions are required and that COVID-19 has intensified the interest in various biometric technologies such as contactless fingerprint recognition or speaker recognition. Also, further topics like face sample quality and demographic bias were discussed as well as longer-term exploration such as periocular recognition for occluded faces or contact-free contact tracing and identity operations.

Accepted conference contributions included 16 presentations and covering various aspects of face, fingerprints, finger vein, iris, and voice. Particular challenges addressed included presentation attack detection, manipulation detection, biometric quality, bias mitigation, template protection as well as new challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The poster session with 16 contributions was a good mix of research results from various research labs and attendees could discuss with the authors in dedicated virtual poster rooms before the start of the social event in which everybody could test their knowledge about biometrics in a funny biometric quiz which was moderated by Mark Nixon (University of Southampton). Philip Terhörst (Fraunhofer IGD) was winning the quiz and received the “Best Observer Award”.

On the second day of the conference, Shiguang Shan (Chinese Academy of Sciences, China) gave a keynote on face presentation attack detection. He provided a comprehensive overview of the current state-of-the-art and discussed various issues and challenges leading to the conclusion that face presentation attack detection is still an unsolved problem. Further, he summarized some real-world applications which deploy face presentation attack detection. 

Subsequently, he provided some details on recently developed methods focusing on multi-domain disentangled feature learning, real/fake asymmetric adversarial leaning, and dual meta-learning network by leveraging the depth information.

The last conference day concluded with a keynote by Reza Derakhshani (Zoloz, U.S.) focusing on mobile biometrics and the issues and challenges that arise in mobile application scenarios.  His talk covered diverse topics and important trends such as privacy-preserving biometrics and anti-spoofing for seamless personal authentication, and their role in a securely connected society free of passwords and physical tokens, delivering safe, private, and convenient trust.

As in previous editions of the BIOSIG conference, participants of the conference themselves voted for the best paper and the best poster that was virtually presented at the conference. The BIOSIG 2020 best paper award was presented to Naser Damer (Fraunhofer IGD) for his interesting presentation “The Effect of Wearing a Mask on Face Recognition Performance: an Exploratory Study“. The winner of the best poster award was Fadi Boutros (Fraunhofer IGD) for his poster “Compact Models for Periocular Verification Through Knowledge Distillation”.

The BIOSIG conference was preceded by several satellite events in the Darmstadt Biometric Week:

  • EAB Research Projects Conference (EAB-RPC) 2020
  • EAB General Assembly
  • TeleTrusT Biometric Working Group Meeting
  • EAB Biometrics Max Snijder, Research, and Industry Awards 2020
  • EAB Biometrics Training Event

The 2020 BIOSIG conference was jointly organized by the Competence Center for Applied Security Technology (CAST) and the special interest group BIOSIG of the Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI).

The conference was technically co-sponsored by IEEE Biometric Council and the papers will be added to IEEE Xplore.

Next year the BIOSIG conference is planned to take place between September 15 to 17, 2021 in Darmstadt, Germany.