9 February 2006 Sub-pixel analysis to support graphic security after scanning at low resolution
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Whether in the domain of audio, video or finance, our world tends to become increasingly digital. However, for diverse reasons, the transition from analog to digital is often much extended in time, and proceeds by long steps (and sometimes never completes). One such step is the conversion of information on analog media to digital information. We focus in this paper on the conversion (scanning) of printed documents to digital images. Analog media have the advantage over digital channels that they can harbor much imperceptible information that can be used for fraud detection and forensic purposes. But this secondary information usually fails to be retrieved during the conversion step. This is particularly relevant since the Check-21 act (Check Clearing for the 21st Century act) became effective in 2004 and allows images of checks to be handled by banks as usual paper checks. We use here this situation of check scanning as our primary benchmark for graphic security features after scanning. We will first present a quick review of the most common graphic security features currently found on checks, with their specific purpose, qualities and disadvantages, and we demonstrate their poor survivability after scanning in the average scanning conditions expected from the Check-21 Act. We will then present a novel method of measurement of distances between and rotations of line elements in a scanned image: Based on an appropriate print model, we refine direct measurements to an accuracy beyond the size of a scanning pixel, so we can then determine expected distances, periodicity, sharpness and print quality of known characters, symbols and other graphic elements in a document image. Finally we will apply our method to fraud detection of documents after gray-scale scanning at 300dpi resolution. We show in particular that alterations on legitimate checks or copies of checks can be successfully detected by measuring with sub-pixel accuracy the irregularities inherently introduced by the illegitimate process.
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Bertrand Haas, Bertrand Haas, Robert Cordery, Robert Cordery, Hongmei Gou, Hongmei Gou, Steve Decker, Steve Decker, } "Sub-pixel analysis to support graphic security after scanning at low resolution", Proc. SPIE 6075, Optical Security and Counterfeit Deterrence Techniques VI, 60750B (9 February 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.641516; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.641516


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