Decoding Innocence: Advancing Forensic Facial Discrimination through Comparative Analysis of Conventional CNN and Advanced Architectures

Mirza Jamal Ahmed - Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, Johor, Malaysia
Nurul Azma Abdullah - Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, Johor, Malaysia

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The field of Digital Image Forensics (DIF) faces a critical issue in accurately identifying children in digital images, notably in cases involving the proliferation of child sexual abuse content. Existing techniques face hurdles due to model architecture limitations, dataset suitability concerns, and classification imbalance, impeding their ability to recognize children to deter pornographic images. Addressing this challenge, this study introduces Implicit Feature Extraction (IFE), a specialized approach for distinguishing child and adult images in object detection. Leveraging Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs), the IFE method automates the extraction of discriminative facial features, surpassing the constraints of Explicit Feature Extraction (EFE) methods, which achieve an accuracy of around 70%. The research focuses on three core objectives introducing IFE for detailed face feature detection in DIF's child and adult image identification, implementing IFE with CNNs to enhance image classification, and conducting a thorough evaluation of the proposed technique's performance using key metrics like accuracy and balanced classification results and comparing the result with a basic CNN model’s performance. This research's significance lies in its notable contributions to digital image forensics, particularly in combatting child exploitation. The fusion of IFE with CNNs showcases 92% accuracy in distinguishing child and adult images, promising advancements with practical implications in child protection and forensic investigations. The comprehensive evaluation using the UTKFace dataset underscores the proposed technique's efficacy, marking a substantial improvement in child image identification within digital image forensics.


Facial feature extraction; object detection; child identification; image forensics; digital image analysis

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