Detecting documents forged by printing and copying

Shize Shang, Nasir Memon, Xiangwei Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes a method to distinguish documents produced by laser printers, inkjet printers, and electrostatic copiers, three commonly used document creation devices. The proposed approach can distinguish between documents produced by these sources based on features extracted from the characters in the documents. Hence, it can also be used to detect tampered documents produced by a mixture of these sources. We analyze the characteristics associated with laser/inkjet printers and electrostatic copiers and determine the signatures created by the different physical and technical processes involved in each type of printing. Based on the analysis of these signatures, we computed the features of noise energy, contour roughness, and average gradient. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work to distinguish documents produced by laser printer, inkjet printer, and copier based on features extracted from individual characters in the documents. Experimental results show that this method has an average accuracy of 90% and works with JPEG compression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number140
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalEurasip Journal on Advances in Signal Processing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 8 2014


  • Average gradient
  • Contour roughness
  • Device type identification
  • Noise energy
  • Tampering detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Hardware and Architecture


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