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A Comparison of Thresholding Methods for Forensic Reconstruction Studies Using Fluorescent Powder Proxies for Trace Materials

Levin, EA; Morgan, RM; Griffin, LD; Jones, VJ; (2018) A Comparison of Thresholding Methods for Forensic Reconstruction Studies Using Fluorescent Powder Proxies for Trace Materials. Journal of Forensic Sciences 10.1111/1556-4029.13938. Green open access

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Abstract

Image segmentation is a fundamental precursor to quantitative image analysis. At present, no standardised methodology exists for segmenting images of fluorescent proxies for trace evidence. Experiments evaluated (i) whether manual segmentation is reproducible within and between examiners (with three participants repeatedly tracing three images) (ii) whether manually defining a threshold level offers accurate and reproducible results (with 20 examiners segmenting 10 images), and (iii) whether a global thresholding algorithm might perform with similar accuracy, while offering improved reproducibility and efficiency (16 algorithms tested). Statistically significant differences were seen between examiners' traced outputs. Manually thresholding produced good accuracy on average (within ±1% of the expected values), but poor reproducibility (with multiple outliers). Three algorithms (Yen, MaxEntropy, and RenyiEntropy) offered similar accuracy, with improved reproducibility and efficiency. Together, these findings suggest that appropriate algorithms could perform thresholding tasks as part of a robust workflow for reconstruction studies employing fluorescent proxies for trace evidence.

Type: Article
Title: A Comparison of Thresholding Methods for Forensic Reconstruction Studies Using Fluorescent Powder Proxies for Trace Materials
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.13938
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.13938
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: fluorescence, forensic science, image processing, segmentation, thresholding, trace evidence, transfer and persistence, ultraviolet
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10060662
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