Distinguishability of keystroke dynamic template

Napa Sae-Bae, Nasir Memon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When keystroke dynamics are used for authentication, users tend to get different levels of security due to differences in the quality of their templates. This paper addresses this issue by proposing a metric to quantify the quality of keystroke dynamic templates. That is, in behavioral biometric verification, the user's templates are generally constructed using multiple enrolled samples to capture intra-user variation. This variation is then used to normalize the distance between a set of enrolled samples and a test sample. Then a normalized distance is compared against a predefined threshold value to derive a verification decision. As a result, the coverage area for accepted samples in the original space of vector representation is discrete. Therefore, users with the higher intra-user variation suffer higher false acceptance rates (FAR). This paper proposes a metric that can be used to reflect the verification performance of individual keystroke dynamic templates in terms of FAR. Specifically, the metric is derived from statistical information of user-specific feature variations, and it has a non-decreasing property when a new feature is added to a template. The experiments are performed based on two public keystroke dynamic datasets comprising of two main types of keystroke dynamics: Constrained-text and free-text, namely the CMU keystroke dynamics dataset and the Web-Based Benchmark for keystroke dynamics dataset. Experimental results based on multiple classifiers demonstrate that the proposed metric can be a good indicator of the template's false acceptance rate. Thus, it can be used to enhance the security of the user authentication system based on keystroke dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0261291
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Biometric Identification


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