The Algorithm That Fights Document Counterfeiters by Analyzing The Paper Itself

Did you know that, just like humans, papers also have their fingerprints? It’s true, at least according to researchers from Newcastle University and their new algorithm.
The newly developed algorithm fights forgery of official documents by analyzing the document itself. According to the team – Dr. Siamak Shahandashti, Dr. Feng Hao, and Ehsan Toreini – each piece of paper is slightly different, unique.
The researchers explain that they were inspired by nature – when you take a piece of paper and hold it against the sun, you’re able to see different patterns in its texture. Since these patterns look different in different pieces of paper, the team wanted to know if they could be used as identifiers. So, they developed an algorithm, similar to that one used in iris recognition, to help them identify paper fingerprints.
The system is fairly simple – it requires just an ordinary camera and a light source. A piece of paper is put against the light source and then photographed. That photo is used by the algorithm that then analyzes the data to find out the paper’s fingerprint.
Impressively, the algorithm works even if the document is soaked with water, juice or any other liquid, is crumpled up, or has been written on.

Digital Trends (


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