Researchers at the Michigan State University Engineering department are working on developing an algorithm that would match police sketches to suspect photos. The algorithm combines artist sketches with crime databases to find suspects based on their physical features. The algorithm identifies the similarities between the sketch and photo like eye, nose, and chin shape. Director of the Pattern Recognition and Image Processing lab at MSU Anil Jain is spearheading the project.
The researchers at MSU tested the algorithm on 10,000 mug shot photos and sketches provide by the Michigan State Police. It got the matches right 45% of the time. Not bad considering that some of the sketches might not be in the database at all. The researchers plans on using the algorithm on real suspects next year.