ISSN : 1796-2048
Volume : 1    Issue : 3    Date : June 2006

Implementing Holistic Dimensions for a Facial Composite System
Charlie D. Frowd, Vicki Bruce, Alex H. McIntyre, David Ross, Stephen Fields, Yvonne Plenderleith
and Peter J.B. Hancock
Page(s): 42-51
Full Text:
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Facial composites are pictures of human faces. These are normally constructed by victims and
witnesses of crime who describe a suspect’s face and then select individual facial features.
Unfortunately, research has shown that composites constructed in this way are not often
recognised. In contrast, we are quite good at recognizing complete faces, even if the face is
unfamiliar and only seen briefly. This more natural way of processing faces is at the heart of a new
composite system called EvoFIT. With this computer program, witnesses are presented with sets of
complete faces for selection and a composite is ‘evolved’ over time. The current work augments
EvoFIT by developing a set of psychologically useful scales – such as facial weight, masculinity, and
age – that allow EvoFIT faces to be manipulated. These holistic dimensions were implemented by
increasing the size and variability of the underlying face model and by obtaining perceptual ratings
so that the space could be suitably vectorised. The result of three evaluations suggested that the
new dimensions were operating appropriately.—

Index Terms
facial composite, holistic, witness, crime, EvoFIT