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Effects of input energy and impactor shape on cranial fracture patterns

NCJ Number
Forensic Science International Volume: 352 Dated: 2023
Date Published

This study discusses ancestry estimation using cranial and postcranial macromorphoscopic (MMS) traits.


The objective of this study was to demonstrate the value of postcranial macromorphoscopic (MMS) traits, highlighting a combined cranial/postcranial trait approach to ancestry estimation using quadratic discriminant function and a variety of machine learning classification models including artificial neural networks (aNN), random forest models, and support vector machine. Ancestry estimation methods using MMS traits commonly focus exclusively on cranial morphology. Eight cranial and eleven postcranial MMS traits were collected from the Terry and Bass Skeletal Collections (American Black = 81; American White = 173). The classification models using cranial and postcranial traits correctly classified 88–92% of the sample, improving classification accuracies by nearly fifteen percent over models relying exclusively on cranial data. These same results demonstrate the importance of a multivariate statistical framework incorporating cranial and postcranial data and the nearly unlimited potential of machine learning models to improve the accuracy of ancestry estimates over traditional methods of analysis. To facilitate implementation in casework, one of the more robust models (aNN) is incorporated into a web-based application, ComboMaMD Analytical, to facilitate cranial and postcranial MMS traits analysis for ancestry estimation. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2023