Efficient cost-sensitive human-machine collaboration for offline signature verification

Coetzer J. ; Swanepoel J. ; Sabourin R. (2012)

Conference Paper

We propose a novel strategy for the optimal combination of human and machine decisions in a cost-sensitive environment. The proposed algorithm should be especially beneficial to financial institutions where off-line signatures, each associated with a specific transaction value, require authentication. When presented with a collection of genuine and fraudulent training signatures, produced by so-called guinea pig writers, the proficiency of a workforce of human employees and a score-generating machine can be estimated and represented in receiver operating characteristic (ROC) space. Using a set of Boolean fusion functions, the majority vote decision of the human workforce is combined with each threshold-specific machine-generated decision. The performance of the candidate ensembles is estimated and represented in ROC space, after which only the optimal ensembles and associated decision trees are retained. When presented with a questioned signature linked to an arbitrary writer, the system first uses the ROC-based cost gradient associated with the transaction value to select the ensemble that minimises the expected cost, and then uses the corresponding decision tree to authenticate the signature in question. We show that, when utilising the entire human workforce, the incorporation of a machine streamlines the authentication process and decreases the expected cost for all operating conditions. © 2011 Copyright Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).

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