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J Forensic Sci. 2013 Mar;58(2):474-85. doi: 10.1111/1556-4029.12067. Epub 2013 Feb 20.

Application of random match probability calculations to mixed STR profiles.

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U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Laboratory, National Laboratory Center, 6000 Ammendale Road, Ammendale, MD, 20705.


Mixed DNA profiles are being encountered more frequently as laboratories analyze increasing amounts of touch evidence. If it is determined that an individual could be a possible contributor to the mixture, it is necessary to perform a statistical analysis to allow an assignment of weight to the evidence. Currently, the combined probability of inclusion (CPI) and the likelihood ratio (LR) are the most commonly used methods to perform the statistical analysis. A third method, random match probability (RMP), is available. This article compares the advantages and disadvantages of the CPI and LR methods to the RMP method. We demonstrate that although the LR method is still considered the most powerful of the binary methods, the RMP and LR methods make similar use of the observed data such as peak height, assumed number of contributors, and known contributors where the CPI calculation tends to waste information and be less informative.


forensic DNA interpretation; forensic science; low template; mixtures; random match probability; short tandem repeat

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