Face recognition research using automatic or semi-automatic techniques has emerged over the last two decades. One reason for growing interest in this topic is the wide range of possible applications for face recognition systems. Another reason is the emergence of affordable hardware, supporting digital photography and video, which have made the acquisition of high-quality and high resolution 2D images much more ubiquitous. However, 2D recognition systems are sensitive to subject pose and illumination variations and 3D face recognition which is not directly affected by such environmental changes, could be used alone, or in combination with 2D recognition.\ud Recently with the development of more affordable 3D acquisition systems and the availability of 3D face databases, 3D face recognition has been attracting interest to tackle the limitations in performance of most existing 2D systems. In this research, we introduce a robust automated 3D Face recognition system that implements 3D data of faces with different facial expressions, hair, shoulders, clothing, etc., extracts features for discrimination and uses machine learning techniques to make the final decision.\ud A novel system for automatic processing for 3D facial data has been implemented using multi stage architecture; in a pre-processing and registration stage the data was standardized, spikes were removed, holes were filled and the face area was extracted. Then the nose region, which is\ud relatively more rigid than other facial regions in an anatomical sense, was automatically located and analysed by computing the precise location of the symmetry plane. Then useful facial features and a set of effective 3D curves were extracted. Finally, the recognition and matching stage was implemented by using cascade correlation neural networks and support vector machine for classification, and the nearest neighbour algorithms for matching.\ud It is worth noting that the FRGC data set is the most challenging data set available supporting research on 3D face recognition and machine learning techniques are widely recognised as appropriate and efficient classification methods
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