NIST creates biometric software test

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology has created a new software test that allows federal agencies and other users of the NIST revised biometric standard to gain higher confidence that the correct biometric information can be shared between agencies accurately and rapidly.

Biometric Conformance Test Software for Data Interchange Formats (BioCTS2012) includes a test suite designed to test implementations of the biometrics data standard ANSI/NIST-ITL 1-2011.

Conformance testing captures the technical description of a standard specification and measures whether an implementation faithfully executes the specification.

BioCTS, for example, checks if the record of an iris image has the correct data, in the proper order, as called for by the standard, so that it can be sent to, received correctly by and filed accurately by any user from the Department of Homeland Security to a small police department.

The conformance testing provides programmers, users and product purchasers with an increased level of confidence in product quality and increases the probability of successful interoperability.

To support the conformance test suite, NIST scientists have developed two associated publications:

Conformance Testing Methodology for ANSI/NIST-ITL 1-2011, Data Format for the Interchange of Fingerprint, Facial and Other Biometric Information Release 1.0 (Special Publication 500-295). Developed by NIST with help from experts from government and industry, it provides computer programmers with the background information and methodology they need to develop a conformance test tool for the ANSI/NIST standard. SP 500-295 documents over 1,200 test assertions implemented in BioCTS 2012, to test for a range of record types from fingerprint images to iris images.

BioCTS 2012: Advanced Conformance Test Architectures and Test Suites for Biometric Data Interchange Formats and Biometric Information Records (NIST Interagency Report 7877) describes the implementation details of BioCTS 2012. NISTIR 7877 includes information on the conformance test architecture, for the ANSI/NIST–ITL 1-2011 standard and for conformance test suites designed to test implementations of biometric data interchange standards developed by Subcommittee 37– Biometrics of the ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee 1–Information Technology and Biometric Information Records (BIRs) conforming to the Common Biometric Exchange Formats Framework (CBEFF).

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Commerce Department, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Departments, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
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