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Personal Identification by the Comparison of Facial Profiles: Testing the Reliability of a High-Resolution 3D-2D Comparison Model

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 57 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2012 Pages: 182-187
Cristina Cattaneo, M.D., Ph.D.; Angela Cantatore, M.M.E.; Romina Ciaffi, B.Sc.; Daniele Gibelli, M.D.; Alfredo Cigada, M.M.E.; Danilo De Angelis, D.D.S.; Remo Sala, M.M.E.
Date Published
January 2012
6 pages
This study aimed at quantifying the degree of profile matches in cases of personal identification of the living through 3D-2-D superimposition methods.
Identification from video surveillance systems is frequently requested in forensic practice. The "3D-2D" comparison has proven to be reliable in assessing identification but still requires standardization; this study concerns the validation of the 3D-2D profile comparison. The 3D models of the faces of 5 individuals were compared with photographs from the same subjects as well as from another 45 individuals. The difference in area and distance between maxima (glabella, tip of nose, fore point of upper and lower lips, pogonion) and minima points (selion, subnasale, stomion, suprapogonion) were measured. The highest difference in area between the 3D model and the 2D image was between 43 and 133 mm2 in the five matches, always greater than 157 mm2 in mismatches; the mean distance between the points was greater than 1.96 mm in mismatches, less than1.9 mm in five matches (p less than 0.05). These results indicate that this difference in areas may point toward a manner of distinguishing "correct" from "incorrect" matches. Published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons.