A novel method for pair-matching using three-dimensional digital models of bone: mesh-to-mesh value comparison

Mara A. Karell (Lead / Corresponding author), Helen Langstaff, Demetrios Halazonetis, Caterina Minghetti, Melanie Frelat, Elena F. Kranioti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The commingling of human remains often hinders forensic/physical anthropologists during the identification process, as there are limited methods to accurately sort these remains. This study investigates a new method for pair-matching, a common individualization technique, which uses digital three-dimensional models of bone: mesh-to-mesh value comparison (MVC). The MVC method digitally compares the entire three-dimensional geometry of two bones at once to produce a single value to indicate their similarity. Two different versions of this method, one manual and the other automated, were created and then tested for how well they accurately pair-matched humeri. Each version was assessed using sensitivity and specificity. The manual mesh-to-mesh value comparison method was 100 % sensitive and 100 % specific. The automated mesh-to-mesh value comparison method was 95 % sensitive and 60 % specific. Our results indicate that the mesh-to-mesh value comparison method overall is a powerful new tool for accurately pair-matching commingled skeletal elements, although the automated version still needs improvement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1315-1322
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Legal Medicine
Volume130
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2016

Keywords

  • Forensic anthropology
  • Pair-matching
  • Commingled remains
  • 3D geometry
  • 3D modeling
  • Mesh-to-mesh value comparison

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