On the channel density of EEG signals for reliable biometric recognition

Min Wang, Kathryn Kasmarik, Anastasios Bezerianos, Kay Chen Tan, Hussein Abbass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Electroencephalography (EEG) provides appealing biometrics by encompassing unique attributes including robustness against forgery, privacy compliance, and aliveness detection. Among the main challenges in deploying EEG biometric systems in real-world applications, stability and usability are two important ones. They respectively reflect the capacity of the system to provide stable performance within and across different states, and the ease of use of the system. Previous studies indicate that the usability of an EEG biometric system is largely affected by the number of electrodes and reducing channel density is an effective way to enhance usability. However, it is still unclear what is the impact of channel density on recognition performance and stability. This study examines this issue for systems using different feature extraction and classification methods. Our results reveal a trade-off between channel density and stability. With low-density EEG, the recognition accuracy and stability are compromised to varying degrees. Based on the analysis, we propose a framework that integrates channel density augmentation, functional connectivity estimation and deep learning models for practical and stable EEG biometric systems. The framework helps to improve the stability of EEG biometric systems that use consumer-grade low channel density devices, while retaining the advantages of high usability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalPattern Recognition Letters
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


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