Research Output

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

  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.

  • Date:

    31 August 2007

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

  • DOI:


  • Library of Congress:

    BF Psychology


Frowd, C. D., Bruce, V., Gannon, C., Robinson, M., Tredoux, C., Park, J., …Hancock, P. J. (2007). Evolving the face of a criminal: How to search a face space more effectively. In ECSIS Symposium on Bio-inspired, Learning, and Intelligent Systems for Security, 2007. BLISS 2007doi:10.1109/bliss.2007.28



Facial Recognition, criminal,

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