The analysis of fingerprints for matching purposes generally requires the comparison of several features of the print pattern. These include patterns, which are aggregate characteristics of ridges, and minutia points, which are unique features found within the patterns. It is also necessary to know the structure and properties of human skin in order to successfully employ some of the imaging technologies.
PatternsThe three basic patterns of fingerprint ridges are the arch, loop, and whorl:
- arch: The ridges enter from one side of the finger, rise in the center forming an arc, and then exit the other side of the finger.
- loop: The ridges enter from one side of a finger, form a curve, and then exit on that same side.
- whorl: Ridges form circularly around a central point on the finger.