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Forensic Sci Int. 2017 Nov;280:213-223. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2017.08.033. Epub 2017 Sep 8.

A convergence algorithm for correlation of breech face images based on the congruent matching cells (CMC) method.

Author information

1
School of Mechatronics Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), Harbin, 150001, China; Physical Measurement Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA. Electronic address: zhe.chen@nist.gov.
2
Physical Measurement Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA. Electronic address: jun-feng.song@nist.gov.
3
Physical Measurement Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA. Electronic address: wei.chu@nist.gov.
4
Physical Measurement Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA. Electronic address: johannes.soons@nist.gov.
5
School of Mechatronics Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), Harbin, 150001, China. Electronic address: zhaoxz@hit.edu.cn.

Abstract

The Congruent Matching Cells (CMC) method was invented at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for accurate firearm evidence identification and error rate estimation. The CMC method is based on the principle of discretization. The toolmark image of the reference sample is divided into correlation cells. Each cell is registered to the cell-sized area of the compared image that has maximum surface topography similarity. For each resulting cell pair, one parameter quantifies the similarity of the cell surface topography and three parameters quantify the pattern congruency of the registration position and orientation. An identification (declared match) requires a significant number of CMCs, that is, cell pairs that meet both similarity and pattern congruency requirements. The use of cell correlations reduces the effects of "invalid regions" in the compared image pairs and increases the correlation accuracy. The identification accuracy of the CMC method can be further improved by considering a feature named "convergence," that is, the tendency of the x-y registration positions of the correlated cell pairs to converge at the correct registration angle when comparing same-source samples at different relative orientations. In this paper, the difference of the convergence feature between known matching (KM) and known non-matching (KNM) image pairs is characterized, based on which an improved algorithm is developed for breech face image correlations using the CMC method. Its advantage is demonstrated by comparison with three existing CMC algorithms using four datasets. The datasets address three different brands of consecutively manufactured pistol slides, with significant differences in the distribution overlap of cell pair topography similarity for KM and KNM image pairs. For the same CMC threshold values, the convergence algorithm demonstrates noticeably improved results by reducing the number of false-positive or false-negative CMCs in a comparison.

KEYWORDS:

Ballistics; Congruent Matching Cells (CMC); Convergence; Firearm evidence identification; Forensics

PMID:
29080521
DOI:
10.1016/j.forsciint.2017.08.033
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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