The performance of any fingerprint recognizer highly depends on the
fingerprint image quality. Different types of noises in the fingerprint images pose greater difficulty for recognizers.
Most Automatic Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS) use some form of image enhancement. Although several methods have been described in the literature, there is still scope for improvement. In particular, effective methodology of cleaning the valleys between the ridge contours are lacking. We observe that noisy valley pixels and the pixels in the interrupted ridge flow gap are "impulse noises". Therefore, this paper describes a new approach to fingerprint image enhancement, which is based on integration of Anisotropic Filter and directional median filter(DMF). Gaussian-distributed noises are reduced effectively by Anisotropic Filter, "impulse noises" are
reduced efficiently by DMF. Usually, traditional median filter is the most effective method to remove pepper-and-salt noise and other small artifacts, the proposed DMF can not only finish its original tasks, it can also join broken fingerprint ridges, fill out the holes of fingerprint images, smooth irregular ridges as well as remove some annoying small artifacts between ridges. The enhancement algorithm has been implemented and tested on fingerprint images from FVC2002. Images of varying quality have been used to evaluate the performance of our approach. We have compared our method with other methods described in the literature in terms of matched minutiae, missed
minutiae, spurious minutiae, and flipped minutiae(between end points and bifurcation points). Experimental results show our method to be superior to those described in the literature.