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Probabilistic evaluation of handwriting evidence: likelihood ratio for authorship

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  • Silvia Bozza
  • Franco Taroni
  • Raymond Marquis
  • Matthieu Schmittbuhl
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    Abstract

    The evaluation of handwritten characters that are selected from an anonymous letter and written material from a suspect is an open problem in forensic science. The individualization of handwriting is largely dependent on examiners who evaluate the characteristics in a qualitative and subjective way. Precise individual characterization of the shape of handwritten characters is possible through Fourier analysis: each handwritten character can be described through a set of variables such as the surface and harmonics as demonstrated by Marquis and co-workers in 2005. The assessment of the value of the evidence is performed through the derivation of a likelihood ratio for multivariate data. The methodology allows the forensic scientist to take into account the correlation between variables, and the non-constant variability within sources (i.e. individuals). Numerical procedures are implemented to handle the complexity and to compute the marginal likelihood under competing propositions. Copyright (c) 2008 Royal Statistical Society.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Royal Statistical Society in its journal Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series C (Applied Statistics).

    Volume (Year): 57 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 329-341

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:jorssc:v:57:y:2008:i:3:p:329-341

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