TrueHeart: Continuous Authentication on Wrist-worn Wearables Using PPG-based Biometrics

Tianming Zhao, Yan Wang, Jian Liu, Yingying Chen, Jerry Cheng, Jiadi Yu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


Traditional one-time user authentication processes might cause friction and unfavorable user experience in many widely-used applications. This is a severe problem in particular for security-sensitive facilities if an adversary could obtain unauthorized privileges after a user's initial login. Recently, continuous user authentication (CA) has shown its great potential by enabling seamless user authentication with few active participation. We devise a low-cost system exploiting a user's pulsatile signals from the photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor in commercial wrist-worn wearables for CA. Compared to existing approaches, our system requires zero user effort and is applicable to practical scenarios with non-clinical PPG measurements having motion artifacts (MA). We explore the uniqueness of the human cardiac system and design an MA filtering method to mitigate the impacts of daily activities. Furthermore, we identify general fiducial features and develop an adaptive classifier using the gradient boosting tree (GBT) method. As a result, our system can authenticate users continuously based on their cardiac characteristics so little training effort is required. Experiments with our wrist-worn PPG sensing platform on 20 participants under practical scenarios demonstrate that our system can achieve a high CA accuracy of over 90% and a low false detection rate of 4% in detecting random attacks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationINFOCOM 2020 - IEEE Conference on Computer Communications
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781728164120
StatePublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event38th IEEE Conference on Computer Communications, INFOCOM 2020 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: Jul 6 2020Jul 9 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE INFOCOM
ISSN (Print)0743-166X


Conference38th IEEE Conference on Computer Communications, INFOCOM 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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