skip navigation

Justinfo Subscribe to Stay Informed

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


NCJRS Abstract


Subscribe to Stay Informed
Want to be in the know? JUSTINFO is a biweekly e-newsletter containing information about new publications, events, training, funding opportunities, and Web-based resources available from the NCJRS Federal sponsors. Sign up to get JUSTINFO in your inbox.

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection.
To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database.

How to Obtain Documents
NCJ Number: NCJ 239048   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
Title: Application of Machine Learning to Toolmarks: Statistically Based Methods for Impression Pattern Comparisons
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Nicholas D. K. Petraco, Ph.D. ; Helen Chan, B.A. ; Peter R. De Forest, D.Crim. ; Peter Diaczuk, M.S. ; Carol Gambino, M.S. ; James Hamby, Ph.D. ; Frani L. Kammerman, M.S. ; Brooke W. Kammrath, M.A., M.S. ; Thomas A. Kubic, M.S.,J.D., Ph.D. ; Loretta Kuo M.S. ; Patrick McLaughlin ; Gerard Petillo B.A. ; Nicholas Petraco, M.S. ; Elizabeth W. Phelps, M.S. ; Peter A. Pizzola, Ph.D. ; Dale K. Purcell, M.S. ; Peter Shenkin, Ph.D.
Date Published: 2012
Page Count: 99
  Annotation: This project’s goal was to provide a scientific basis for the reliability and validity of impression evidence, specifically impressions made by tools and firearms, by laying down, testing, and publishing methodological statistical foundations for toolmark impression pattern recognition and comparison.
Abstract: The study focused on striation patterns left by tools and on cartridge casings from firearms. Since all impressions made by tools and firearms can be viewed as mathematical patterns composed of features, this study used the mathematics of multivariate statistical analysis in order to recognize variations in these patterns. In the context of computational pattern recognition, this is called “machine learning." The mathematical details of machine learning can yield what Moran calls “…the quantitative difference between an identification and non-identification” (Moran 2002). Mathematical details also enable the estimation of extrapolated identification error rates and, in some case, the calculation of rigorous, universal random-match probabilities. The current project was divided into three main tasks. First, toolmark pattern collection and archiving was conducted. Second, database and Web interface were constructed for the distribution of toolmark data, accompanied by related software development. Third, multivariate machine-learning methods relevant to the analysis of collected toolmarks were identified and used. This research succeeded in composing a set of objective and testable methods for associating toolmark impression evidence with the tools and firearms that produced them. Three-dimensional confocal microscopy, surface metrology, and multivariate statistical method are the core of the approach presented. 59 figures, 1 table, and 89 references
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Evidence collection ; Toolmark identification ; Evidence identification and analysis ; Forensics/Forensic Sciences ; Investigative techniques ; NIJ final report
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 2009-DN-BX-K041
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

* A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's web site is provided.