Palatal rugae is an irregular soft tissue, which is located in the front third of the hard palate, and is asymmetrically distributed from the middle suture to the sides. The difference, stability and extensive characteristics of palatal rugae morphology have gradually make it a characteristic indicator of forensic identification. However, a mature digital palatal rugae identification system has not yet been established at present. Feature extraction is the premise of palatal rugae image recognition. In order to obtain palatal rugae feature information in all directions and improve the reliability of forensic identification, it is necessary to collect palatal rugae images from a plurality of different angles. When the collected images are sent to the recognition system, the diversity of angles will often cause problems such as error recognition. If the tilted images are not rotated properly, it will make the forensic identification face many difficulties. To solve the problem of image skew caused by the diversity of acquisition angle, an algorithm based on orientation vector to correct the tilted palatal rugae images was proposed in this paper. Firstly, the criteria for standard palatal rugae image and the selection rules for feature points were set; Secondly, characterizing feature points according to the rules, and fitting two lines and find their direction vector; Finally, to obtain the corrected images, the tilted images were rotated by the angle determined by the two direction vectors. Simulation results show that the proposed algorithm can correct the tilted palatal rugae images collected from different angles and has strong robustness.
KEY WORDS: Forensic odontology; Palatal rugae; Forensic identification; Direction vector; Image correction.