Worst-Case Morphs Using Wasserstein ALI and Improved MIPGAN

U.M. Kelly, M. Nauta, L. Liu, L.J. Spreeuwers, R.N.J. Veldhuis

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A morph is a combination of two separate facial images and contains the identity information of two different people. When used in an identity document, both people can be authenticated by a biometric face recognition (FR) system. Morphs can be generated using either a landmark-based approach or approaches based on deep learning, such as generative adversarial networks (GANs). In a recent paper, we introduced a worst-case upper bound on how challenging morphing attacks can be for an FR system. The closer morphs are to this upper bound, the bigger the challenge they pose to FR. We introduced an approach with which it was possible to generate morphs that approximate this upper bound for a known FR system (white box) but not for unknown (black box) FR systems. In this paper, we introduce a morph generation method that can approximate worst-case morphs even when the FR system is not known. A key contribution is that we include the goal of generating difficult morphs during training. Our method is based on adversarially learned inference (ALI) and uses concepts from Wasserstein GANs trained with gradient penalty, which were introduced to stabilise the training of GANs. We include these concepts to achieve a similar improvement in training stability and call the resulting method Wasserstein ALI (WALI). We finetune WALI using loss functions designed specifically to improve the ability to manipulate identity information in facial images and show how it can generate morphs that are more challenging for FR systems than landmark- or GAN-based morphs. We also show how our findings can be used to improve MIPGAN, an existing StyleGAN-based morph generator.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9353816
Number of pages15
JournalIET biometrics
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2023


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