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Forensic databases: size, completeness, usefulness

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FOSW01 - The nature of questions arising in court that can be addressed via probability and statistical methods

Co-authors:  Anjali Mazumder, Stephen Fienberg
Databases play an increasingly important role in forensic sciences, both as a means to develop and validate technologies, and in case work, to find potential matches to a crime scene sample.  Many of the databases used for research by the forensic community are lacking in different ways.  We use the elemental composition of glass as an example to highlight how data that are widely used by forensic scientists are not designed to permit answering questions of interest.  In case work, many of the databases that are used by law enforcement are privately owned and inaccessible, but as a rule, lack relevance, are not representative and in general, are assembled haphazardly using data arising in case work or other convenience samples.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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