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Activity Number: 419
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 : 2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Sponsor: Section on Physical and Engineering Sciences
Abstract - #304724
Title: Significance of Angle in the Statistical Comparison of Forensic Toolmarks
Author(s): Amy Hoeksema*+
Address: 3544 Tripp Street, Ames, IA, 50014-7568, United States
Keywords: Forensics ; Angle ; Nonlinear regression

In forensics, fingerprints can be used to uniquely identify suspects in a crime. Similarly, a toolmark left at a crime scene can be used to identify the tool that was used. However, the current practice of identifying matching toolmarks involves visual inspection of marks which can be a very subjective process. Although research has been done to quantify the match process and make it more objective, there are still many unknown aspects of a toolmark left at a crime scene that make a quantitative match process difficult. One such aspect is the angle at which a toolmark is made. Work has been done that shows the angle of a mark is essential to the toolmark characteristics. Our analysis works to incorporate the angle of a toolmark into the computation of a similarity measure between two toolmarks. We model the cases in which the angles for all toolmarks are known and when one of the marks was made at an unknown angle.

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