Biometric features such as fingerprints, iris patterns, and face features help to identify people and restrict access to secure areas by performing advanced pattern analysis and matching. Face recognition is one of the most promising biometric methodologies for human identification in a non-cooperative security environment. However, the recognition results obtained by face recognition systems are a
affected by several variations that may happen to the patterns in an unrestricted environment. As a result, several algorithms have been developed for extracting different facial features for face recognition. Due to the various possible challenges of data captured at different lighting conditions, viewing angles, facial expressions, and partial occlusions in natural environmental conditions, automatic facial recognition still remains as a difficult issue that needs to be resolved. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to tackling some of these issues by analyzing the local textural descriptions for facial feature representation. The textural information is extracted by an enhanced local binary pattern (ELBP) description of all the local regions of the face. The relationship of each pixel with respect to its neighborhood is extracted and employed to calculate the new representation. ELBP reconstructs a much better textural feature extraction vector from an original gray level image in different lighting conditions. The dimensionality of the texture image is reduced by principal component analysis performed on each local face region. Each low dimensional vector representing a local region is now weighted based on the significance of the sub-region. The weight of each sub-region is determined by employing the local variance estimate of the respective region, which represents the significance of the region. The final facial textural feature vector is obtained by concatenating the reduced dimensional weight sets of all the modules (sub-regions) of the face image. Experiments conducted on various popular face databases show promising performance of the proposed algorithm in varying lighting, expression, and partial occlusion conditions. Four databases were used for testing the performance of the proposed system: Yale Face database, Extended Yale Face database B, Japanese Female Facial Expression database, and CMU AMP Facial Expression database. The experimental results in all four databases show the effectiveness of the proposed system. Also, the computation cost is lower because of the simplified calculation steps. Research work is progressing to investigate the effectiveness of the proposed face recognition method on pose-varying conditions as well. It is envisaged that a multilane approach of trained frameworks at different pose bins and an appropriate voting strategy would lead to a good recognition rate in such situation.