30 January 2012 General fusion approaches for the age determination of latent fingerprint traces: results for 2D and 3D binary pixel feature fusion
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Abstract
Determining the age of latent fingerprint traces found at crime scenes is an unresolved research issue since decades. Solving this issue could provide criminal investigators with the specific time a fingerprint trace was left on a surface, and therefore would enable them to link potential suspects to the time a crime took place as well as to reconstruct the sequence of events or eliminate irrelevant fingerprints to ensure privacy constraints. Transferring imaging techniques from different application areas, such as 3D image acquisition, surface measurement and chemical analysis to the domain of lifting latent biometric fingerprint traces is an upcoming trend in forensics. Such non-destructive sensor devices might help to solve the challenge of determining the age of a latent fingerprint trace, since it provides the opportunity to create time series and process them using pattern recognition techniques and statistical methods on digitized 2D, 3D and chemical data, rather than classical, contact-based capturing techniques, which alter the fingerprint trace and therefore make continuous scans impossible. In prior work, we have suggested to use a feature called binary pixel, which is a novel approach in the working field of fingerprint age determination. The feature uses a Chromatic White Light (CWL) image sensor to continuously scan a fingerprint trace over time and retrieves a characteristic logarithmic aging tendency for 2D-intensity as well as 3D-topographic images from the sensor. In this paper, we propose to combine such two characteristic aging features with other 2D and 3D features from the domains of surface measurement, microscopy, photography and spectroscopy, to achieve an increase in accuracy and reliability of a potential future age determination scheme. Discussing the feasibility of such variety of sensor devices and possible aging features, we propose a general fusion approach, which might combine promising features to a joint age determination scheme in future. We furthermore demonstrate the feasibility of the introduced approach by exemplary fusing the binary pixel features based on 2D-intensity and 3D-topographic images of the mentioned CWL sensor. We conclude that a formula based age determination approach requires very precise image data, which cannot be achieved at the moment, whereas a machine learning based classification approach seems to be feasible, if an adequate amount of features can be provided.
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Ronny Merkel, Stefan Gruhn, Jana Dittmann, Claus Vielhauer, Anja Bräutigam, "General fusion approaches for the age determination of latent fingerprint traces: results for 2D and 3D binary pixel feature fusion", Proc. SPIE 8290, Three-Dimensional Image Processing (3DIP) and Applications II, 82900Y (30 January 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.908637; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.908637
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