Evolving the face of a criminal: how to search a face space more effectively



Frowd CD, Bruce V, Pitchford M, Gannon C, Robinson M, Tredoux C, Park J, McIntyre AH & Hancock PJB (2011) Evolving the face of a criminal: how to search a face space more effectively. Soft Computing, 15 (1), pp. 61-70.

Witnesses and victims of serious crime are often required to construct a facial composite, a visual likeness of a suspect’s face. The traditional method is for them to select individual facial features to build a face, but often these images are of poor quality. We have developed a new method whereby witnesses repeatedly select instances from an array of complete faces and a composite is evolved over time by searching a face model built using PCA. While past research suggests that the new approach is superior, performance is far from ideal. In the current research, face models are built which match a witness’s description of a target. It is found that such 'tailored' models promote better quality composites, presumably due to a more effective search, and also that smaller models may be even better. The work has implications for researchers who are using statistical modelling techniques for recognising faces.

Face generation; Evolution; Face perception; PCA; Genetic Algorithms

Soft Computing: Volume 15, Issue 1

Publication date31/01/2011

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Professor Peter Hancock

Professor Peter Hancock

Professor, Psychology