Introduction and Welcome

Welcome to the Second International Workshop on Multimodal User Authentication (MMUA 2006), being held in Toulouse, France on May 11-12, 2006. MMUA 2006 is the second edition of the workshop, after a previous meeting organized in Santa Barbara in December 2003.

More and more applications are being developed that require reliable person identification or identity verification. The two traditional approaches to automatic person recognition, namely the knowledge-based approach which relies on something that one knows such as a password, and the token-based approach which relies on something that one has such as a badge, have obvious shortcomings: passwords might be forgotten or guessed and badges might be lost or stolen. Biometrics – which is the discipline concerned with “the automatic identification or identity verification of an individual based on physiological and/or behavioral characteristics” – is an alternative to these traditional approaches, as a biometric attribute is inherent to each person; it cannot be forgotten or lost and might be difficult to forge.

Many applications concentrate on one biometric modality only (e.g., face or fingerprint). However, the rational for multimodal user authentication is that no single biometric is generally considered sufficiently accurate, universal and user-acceptable for any given application. Authentication systems that are robust in natural environments (e.g., in the presence of noise and illumination changes) cannot rely on a single modality. In contrast, multimodal user authentication can provide a more balanced solution to the security and convenience of many applications. Multimodal user authentication provides a practical and viable approach for overcoming the performance and acceptability barriers to the widespread adoption of authentication systems. While progress has been made in this area, due to the inherent cross-disciplinary research of this field, it is important to continue to provide a forum for researchers from different disciplines, so that information can be shared and collaborations can be established. This led us to organize this second workshop on multimodal user authentication.

All papers contained in this volume were selected for presentation at MMUA 2006 after a thorough peer review process, under the responsibility of the International Program Committee, by expert reviewers in their respective fields: our gratitude goes to these reviewers. Altogether 21 high quality papers were selected in this volume out of 35 submissions around the world. The papers included in this volume represent 13 countries from 4 continents: Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland and United States of America. These papers cover most of the major issues of current research interest.

In addition to the selected papers, three invited presentations are to be given by distinguished speakers during the workshop: “Multi-modal Biometrics: Orthogonal, Independent, and Collaborative” by Kevin Bowyer (University of Notre-Dame, U.S.A.), “Fusing Noncontact Biometrics: Face, Gait and Ear” by Marc Nixon (University of Southampton, U.K.) and “Government Initiatives Concerning Biometric Authentication and Their Impact on the Industry and International Standards” by Bill Perry (Emerging Technology Service LTD, U.K.). We would like to give a special thanks to these three invited speakers who all accepted with enthusiasm the challenge of preparing overview talks.

We would like to acknowledge the cooperative efforts of the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA) and EURASIP, and the financial support from the SIMILAR EU Network of Excellence, the BIOSECURE EU Network of Excellence, FRANCE TELECOM R&D, University Paul Sabatier of Toulouse and Région Midi-Pyrénées.

Finally, we would like to thank all the people who helped us here at IRIT: Véronique Debats, Katalyn Sangla, Jean-Pierre Barritaud, Jean-Pierre Ceccatto, Jean-Claude Debelle, Jean Frontin and Christophe Rosa.

We hope that this workshop is successful from both a technical and social point of view and that the contacts and discussions you have will be beneficial for your future research or business.

The Workshop Organizing Committee:

Jean-François Bonastre, Jean-Luc Dugelay, Isabelle Ferrané, Jean-Claude Junqua, Kenneth  Rose, Christine Sénac, Matthew Turk.