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Hereditary Identification of Fingerprints | Pattern Similarities April 24, 2023 - BY RealScan Biometrics

Hereditary Identification of Fingerprints | Pattern Similarities


This review is based on various research studies and previous work which has been conducted till date within “Fingerprint Hereditary Identification’’ discipline of forensic science. This report outlines the highlights of various tools and techniques used in ‘identifying the fingerprints in hereditary from generation to generation.’ 

Fingerprints have been unique characteristics of a human being right from their birth.

All of the favorable biometrics technique, fingerprints authentication is the state of the art method to verify with the help of different web based tools and applications.

In the modern era of advanced cosmeceuticals therapies, human characteristics such as face, skin texture etc., can be altered to a great extent with time but fingerprints remain immutable during complete life-span.  


The study of these friction ridges, which are visible on all of the fingers, is known as dermatoglyphics. One of the most crucial methods is the biometric system, which is based on the hereditary identification of fingerprints.

The successful key to identifying someone whose identity cannot be taken easily is their fingerprint.

Here, we observe the rising need for strict security measures to shield locations, people, and data from any unwanted interference by unauthorized parties (Al-ani and Al-Aloosi 2013). 

The uses of fingerprint from about 100 years are the oldest method for the identification of criminal and for hereditary identification.

Sir Francis Galton studies established that the use of fingerprint identification for hereditary is the best method for identification (Galton et al 1892 and Henry et al 1905). From the previous year of method fingerprint which have been used to identify people in a variety of social contexts, including crime prevention, crime investigation and personal trust among others. Because they’ll keep being the same throughout the life (Jain et al., 1999).

Nowadays, due to the reduced changeability and simpler accessibility of fingerprints compared to other methods like signature and hand shape, Automatic Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS) and the Automatic Fingerprint Recognition Systems (AFRS) have become increasingly popular (Halici et al. ,1999). 

Fingerprints use for identification is based on the individuality and pattern of fingerprint present on the tips of finger. It refers to the constant and permanent character of an individual that are present from birth to till death.

Individuality that means the uniqueness of the ridge details from individual to individual or even between the twins or siblings. In a family which have 5 or more persons all of them have unique characteristics along with fingerprint pattern rather than same pattern of fingerprint (Recheck and McHugh 1990). 



Sir Francis Galton, an anthropologist uses fingerprint identification to identify an individual on the basis of pattern or ridge present on the tip of fingerprints.

In the starting of 1880s, Galton studies established that fingerprint from hereditary identification to seek out the pattern from individual to individual.

Through his studies, it is determined that not only two fingerprints are exactly alike, but also that fingerprint pattern or ridge characteristic remains constant throughout life from birth till death. 

In 1892, Sir Francis Galton wrote a book about his research and described the three most typical varieties of fingerprints: loop, whorl, and arch. The entire research team continues to utilize these classifications to identify crimes and further identify individuals. (Galton et al 1892). 

The defining characteristics of an individual are the fingerprints that are most widely used in character identification. The area of the hands that is palm and the area of the feat that is soles are important part of the body where ridges are formed that makes pattern for identification of an individual.

Ridge encloses entirely palm and finger of your hand and the sole of your foot and toe. As opposed to the skin covering the rest of your body, the skin in these parts of your body has friction ridges, which are primarily used for gripping. These characteristics are present in the finger's core as friction ridges, which when in touch with an item create an impression of the finger's shape. (Galton et al 1892). 

Here are 3 basic type of pattern, which are as follows : 

  • Arch 
  • Loop 
  • Whorl 

Arches are that type of fingerprint pattern that form a special pattern that is something hill like in structure or have a pointed tent shape pattern. These lines enter from one side and moves towards opposite side of the print. In these entire pattern arches are found in least manner.

A second sort of fingerprint pattern is a loop, in which one or more lines of impression enter, bend toward or pass over a line that is envisioned to run from the delta to the core, and tend to conclude on or very close to the side of the imprint from where such ridges entered, and then continue in the same direction. They comprise about 60-65% of the fingerprints patterns.

Whorls are the most prevalent pattern among all of these, and their prevalence ranges from 30 to 35 percent, whorl-like shapes that resemble spirals or circles.  

We are aware that these details contribute to a fingerprint's uniqueness.

However, how are these fingerprints created?

The earliest circumstances of the embryonic mesoderm determine how minutiae form or, perhaps more accurately, develop. The precise location of the foetus inside the womb and the adjacent amniotic fluid density and composition are the elements that determine the minutiae. Additionally, there are a myriad of environmental elements that affect how fingerprints or ridges form. 

In case there is any doubt, are these fingerprints hereditary?

If so, what characteristics do the family members share?

Major investigations on the relationships between the fingerprint classes (arch, whorl, and loop), as well as the relationships between other general properties like the number of ridges, the her differentiate the fingerprint.

There is some hereditary information that is passed down through the family from one generation to the next.

In one research, 324 patients from 54 distinct families' three-generation fingerprint data were analysed, and it was found that 85.19% of the families had the same findings, with 14.81% being the only family whose ridge patterns differed from their parents'.

Utilizing the total number of minutiae points, the location of minutiae, the density of minutiae, and the inter-ridge width, thinned ridge patterns on fingers were examined. This study showed that intra-class members from all three generations had a fingerprint in common.   

The study found that while the characters in the families shared certain traits in common, they were not all represented by the same family members.

Quantitative dermatoglyphic characteristics exhibited very low concentration values when compared to the family correlation values when compared with an unrelated person.

With the exception of the ridge count, paternal effect on the child was somewhat greater than maternal influence for the most of dermatoglyphics fractures, albeit the difference did not achieve statistical significance. Finally, it was discovered that although the size and dimensions varied across generations, the traits on the palmar surface were identical. 

According to all the studies and research, the fingerprint pattern or ridge traits do pass down from one generation to the next, however even within a single family, the precise placement or size of the ridge cannot be the same.

Additionally, it is unknown which genes determine fingerprint. In comparison to unrelated persons, siblings who share DNA have a higher likelihood of having fingerprints that resemble each other (Alhalim,2018). Individuals of the same race who are unrelated have relatively little in common globally, but people who are related have a great deal in common globally since a kid inherits genes from both parents.

Therefore, it can be inferred from all of the research that fingerprints are more genetically determined as compared to environmental factors.  

Case Study

To determine how closely the children resemble their parents, a pedigree tree was created.

In the present study, we consider a pattern in which loop (L) consistently predominated both as a single (>62%) and combined distribution (>85%), followed by whorl (24%) and then arch (12%); nevertheless, the pattern was inconsistent for whorl (W) and arch (22%) (A).

It was not significant (p>0.05) how the ring finger was distributed.

According to the pedigree tree we can classify and identify, for the thumb, 72 percent for the index finger, 87 percent for the middle finger, 85 percent for the ring finger, and 91 percent for the little finger, the likelihood that the progeny would display patterns identical to those of the parental pairings was 85 percent.

The pattern through which the fingerprints are inherited appears closer and closer to the parents and grandparents from generation to generation, despite morphological data suggesting that the fingerprints are more genetically defined than impacted by the environment (chinagorom et al 2019).  


Table 1: Hereditary Identification  

Right HandArchArch
Leftt HandLoopArch
Right Hand
Left Hand
Right Hand
Left Hand

Methods for Fingerprint Analysis 

1. The Fast Fourier Transform and Gabor Filters  

While collecting the fingerprint from crime scene there is many instances that the fingerprint gets destroyed due to various factors. Gabor filters and Fast Fourier transform techniques are used to improve or recreate images.

This advent has greatly extended the ability of analyst to implement this technique on digital computers this makes the ending points and bifurcations more visible and clear.

The enhanced and larger feature of fingerprint then helps the analyst as he can see them through algorithms and programing available in its software and application. 

2. Frameworks for Fusion and Context Switching 

The fusion and context switching frameworks is mostly used to match the two latent fingerprints in forensic science applications.

In these methods, much attention is paid to analysis in contrary to latent fingerprints with ink or live ones.

The suggestion makes a multimodal biometric fusion method that allows case-based context switching for selecting the most suitable constituent immoral features, fusion of pattern, as well as case-based context switching for biometric picture quality. 

3. Algorithms 

On the basis of quality of input samples, the proposed algorithms intelligently opts the appropriate fusion algorithm for optimal performance .Experiments and correlations analysis on a multimodal database of 320 subjects has shown that the context switching algorithms improves the verification performance both in terms of accuracy and time . 

 Segmentation Algorithm 

Pre-processing steps, primarily involves segmentation as one of first and foremost integral step for any kind of fingerprint verification and it determines the result of analysis and recognition. There are many segmentation algorithms used, each one these are described below;  

Guess filtering in this process of collecting the fingerprints noises are usually drawn into the fingerprint image for many reasons, such as inhalation of dust and spots on the sensor surface hence the Gaussian filters is used to weaken such effects and enhance the image quality. 

1. Ridge Construction Fingerprint: This method is used is clarify the fingerprint pattern from generation to generation. Our fingerprint ridge builder is used in our master post-mortem fingerprinting kit as a method for restoring deflated finger bulbs. This fingerprint ridge builder is supplied in a convenient pump spray bottle.  

2. Minutiae Extraction: This method is used for automatic fingerprint matching is to reliably extract the minutiae from the captured fingerprint image. 


Literature Review 

There has been tremendous amount of work done in the field of “Fingerprint Hereditary Identification” system. This study comprises of the work done and compiled in the form of literature review papers, online scientific work in India and abroad. Here we define about the pattern of fingerprint inherited from generation to generation through parents to offspring. 

In 2020, Gabriel O’Brien experiment was performed where the dominant fingerprint pattern is unique identifier but it is difficult to differentiate between similarity/variation between closely related family members. By analyzing familial fingerprint pattern the fingerprint between family members and siblings or twins could be similar (Murphy et al ., 2020)

The right and left thumb and ring fingerprint were used from eight-related family members and were classified to see which fingerprint pattern was dominant and which one inherited from generation to generation.

Same pattern of the ring and thumb should be observed between the same offspring’s who belongs to the similar family pattern.

A hypothesis was that the pattern of fingerprint in between the twins and siblings should be similar and the dominant character of the fingerprint should be similar in all family members from generation to generation.

Also the fingerprint between the siblings showed a trend of similarity with only small  amount of differences which makes these fingerprints unique form person to person (Gabriel et al., 2020). 

Sherlock et al., (1994) gave an enhancement technique for the fingerprints pattern through band pass filtering in the frequency domain and linearization via local threshold. In their research, a technique for non-stationary directional Fourier domain filtering enhancement based on fingerprint pattern was described. A directional filter with orientation that was consistently matched to the local ridge and fingerprint pattern was used to smooth fingerprints first. This method was considered to be the significant improvement in the speed and accuracy of the Automatic Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS). 


People's development and behaviour are influenced by their genetic makeup. Since the kids have a fingerprint pattern that is similar to either of their parents because they have received genetic material from both parents, the effects of these genetic factors often play a substantial role in determining heredity.

The most crucial instrument for identifying people or solving crimes has always been a fingerprint.

Digital technology is now being used to improve this industry's effectiveness, quietness, and dependability.

Law enforcement, the general public, and forensic experts all regard fingerprint investigation and recognition as legitimate methods. From birth to death, a person's fingerprint is always the same.

We discovered that the fingerprint pattern will be consistent across all of these techniques and documents. Hence this is to be, used for recognition, solving crimes with add on new advancement in the field.  


 Hence it stated that the fingerprints carry some hereditary information that gets transferred from one generation to the next generation. As previously stated, the study is useful for determining the extent of imprints passed down to the next generation, understanding the type of imprint association among family members, and being aware of the existence of hereditary relationships, allowing researchers to consider the possibility of using fingerprints in clinical studies for pattern identification.


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