automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS)
Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) is a method of biometric fingerprint identification. Fingerprint recognition works with digital images that are stored and analyzed. The AFIS method is a rather old procedure, which was already used for personal identification in the 1980s and recognized by courts.
AFIS allows minutiae of fingerprints stored in databases to be compared with those of alleged criminals. AFIS provides a candidate list from which matches are selected through more precise matching. As an extension, Integrated AFIS (IAFIS) is a service that can access many millions of fingerprints worldwide across borders.
Some AFIS techniques also classify the fingerprints with binning, which stands for class division. In this technique, fingerprints are categorized according to certain features - arcs, branches, loops, swirls - and are divided into feature-specific classes and stored in smaller databases. Thanks to binning, the time needed to search for fingerprints is significantly reduced.