A Non-Intrusive Biometric Authentication Mechanism Utilising Physiological Characteristics of the Human Head

Document Type

Journal Article


Elsevier Ltd.


Computing, Health and Science


School of Computer and Information Science, Centre for Security Research




This article was originally published as: Rodwell, P. M., Furnell, S. M., & Reynolds, P. L. (2007). A non-intrusive biometric authentication mechanism utilising physiological characteristics of the human head. Computers & Security, 26(7), 468-478. Original available here


This paper proposes and evaluates a non-intrusive biometric authentication technique drawn from the discrete areas of biometrics and Auditory Evoked Responses. The technique forms a hybrid multi-modal biometric in which variations in the human voice due to the propagation effects of acoustic waves within the human head are used to verify the identity of a user. The resulting approach is known as the Head Authentication Technique (HAT). Evaluation of the HAT authentication process is realised in two stages. First, the generic authentication procedures of registration and verification are automated within a prototype implementation. Second, a HAT demonstrator is used to evaluate the authentication process through a series of experimental trials involving a representative user community. The results from the trials confirm that multiple HAT samples from the same user exhibit a high degree of correlation, yet samples between users exhibit a high degree of discrepancy. Statistical analysis of the prototype performance realised system error rates of 6% False Non-Match Rate (FNMR) and 0.025% False Match Rate (FMR).




Link to publisher version (DOI)