Police Sketch Artist Database Software

Police sketch artists have been used for generations to try to get the perceptions of a witness down on paper. This nifty algorithm, developed at the Pattern Recognition and Image Processing lab at the MSU engineering department, combines sketch artist work with crime databases.


(Match the mug with the shot)

The researchers tested it using a database of 10,000 mug shot photos and some sketches provided by the Michigan State Police, and it performed better than a commercial face-recognition system, MSU said. It got the right person 45 percent of the time. That's not exactly perfect, but it's not bad, either, considering some people might not be in a mug shot database at all.

Although it's not an exact match, I was reminded of the police sketch artist software from the underrated 1985 Michael Crichton movie Runaway.


(Police sketch artist pad detail)

Update 15-May-2016: Here's a science-fictional reference to the idea of machine-based visual pattern recognition from Rust, by Joseph E. Kelleam, published by Astounding Stories in 1939. End update.

Via Popsci.

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