New Paradigm in FP Comparison

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New Paradigm in Fingerprint Comparison:

New Paradigm in Fingerprint Comparison MELCON S. LAPINA, MSCrim Fingerprint Identification Society of the Philippines


CONTENTS Terms & Definitions Background & Rationale Levels of Fingerprint Details Comparing Fingerprints Biometric Process & Components AFIS Approaches to Fingerprint Comparison Summary & Conclusion

Terms & Definitions:

Terms & Definitions Paradigm – standard; philosophical and theoretical framework of scientific school or discipline (paradigm, 2012) Fingerprint Comparison – comparison of two or more fingerprints to establish its similarities or dissimilarities (Montalba, 2010)

Background & rationale:

Background & rationale Significant strides of Fingerprint Science; ex: Latent print examination Identification philosophy Errors in identification (German, Problem Idents , 2008) US Case (unnamed) Shirley Mckie Case David Asbury Case Brandon Mayfield Case

Background & rationale:

Background & rationale Legal challenges to fingerprints US v. Byron Mitchell Philippines is oblivious to the updates. Practitioners are confined to their antiquated lab manual People in academic community tied themselves to PRC guidelines Errors and challenges are not far removed. The academe, being the purveyor of knowledge, has the burden to keep abreast with current trends.

Levels of Fingerprint Details (Baumgartner, Hannaford, & Barksdale, 2010):

Levels of Fingerprint Details (Baumgartner, Hannaford, & Barksdale, 2010 ) Allow examiners to classify & compare fingerprints Level 1 Detail Ridge flow: direction ridges flow Level 2 Detail Ridge events: breaks, splits & endings w/in ridge pattern Level 3 Detail Ridge dimensions: dimensional attributes & spatial location of pores along ridges

Comparing Fingerprints (ibid.):

Comparing Fingerprints (ibid.) Evidence compared against known exemplar fingerprints Evidence compared against fingerprint data stored within AFIS & IAFIS using biometrics Biometrics Characteristics Process Fingerprint Identification

Biometric Process & Components (ibid.):

Biometric Process & Components (ibid.) Sensor used to collect fingerprint System captures image and software processes it Software extracts features Signal processing algorithms creates a template Templates are stored for future comparisons Matching algorithms compares biometric templates Results from comparison are used during the final decision process

AFIS (ibid.):

AFIS (ibid.) Digital imaging system used to obtain, store and compare fingerprint data Automated recognition Evidentiary prints are uploaded into system Examiner plots point for comparison (level 1 &/or level 2 detail) Specialized software searches database for similar characteristics Provides list of candidates for examiner to further compare Does NOT determine whether fingerprints match or not

Approaches to Fingerprint Comparison:

Approaches to Fingerprint Comparison Traditional Paradigm Numerical Standard Points counting Originated by Edmond Locard ( German, The History of Fingerprints, 2012 ) New Paradigm a.k.a. Non-Numerical Standard Ridgeology Originated by David Ashbaugh ( Ashbaugh )is


conclusion Examiners avail of AFIS and IAFIS through biometrics in arriving candidate prints. AFIS is most useful when there is no suspect. In assessing fingerprints, examiners are guided by levels of ridge details. Currently, there are two paradigms in comparing fingerprints. The numerical standard relies on “points counting” which has no scientific basis.


conclusion A number of cases have proven that reliance on points can be disastrous. Non-numerical standard enunciated clearly the steps in comparing fingerprints through the application of ACE-V methodology. It is high time that practitioners consider their current identification philosophy. People in the academe are equally called to update themselves being influential in the spread of knowledge.

PowerPoint Presentation:


ACE-V Methodology:

ACE-V Methodology ANALYSIS – whether sufficient information exists to proceed to next phase

ACE-V Methodology:

ACE-V Methodology COMPARISON – known exemplar introduced to compare w/ LP; Another ANALYSIS: determine suitability for achieving conclusion 1. Determine general ridge flow & shape (Level 1 Detail) 2. Select key focal characteristics (Level 2 Detail); understand their: position, direction & relationship; compare this to known exemplar

ACE-V Methodology:

ACE-V Methodology EVALUATION – a.k.a. making conclusion; result of comparison Formulation of conclusion based on A & C Guidelines: (1) agreement of only 1 st level details – not sufficient for evaluation of individualization, (2) agreement of 1 st -2 nd or 1 st -3 rd level details – sufficient for evaluation of individualization Back

ACE-V Methodology:

ACE-V Methodology Verification – independent application of ACE process by subsequent examiner. PURPOSE: Support or refute conclusions of original examiner NATURE: Blind verification (no expectation or knowledge of prior conclusion)

Level 1 Detail: Ridge Flow:

Level 1 Detail: Ridge Flow LOOP – ridges enter from either side, recurve & exit same side they entered ARCH – ridges enter from 1 side, rise & generally exit opposite side WHORL – ridges tend to make a circle Back

Level 2 Detail:

Level 2 Detail Back

Level 3 Detail:

Level 3 Detail Back


Characteristic A measurable biological (anatomical & physiological) and behavioral characteristic that can be used for automated recognition Back

Process :

Process Automated methods of recognizing an individual based on measurable biological (anatomical and physiological) and behavioral characteristics Back

Fingerprint Identification:

Fingerprint Identification Level 1 and/or Level 2 details are automatically compared Back

Numerical Approach (West):

Numerical Approach (West) Define a strict threshold of features Match or exceed and it is an “individualization” Can be referenced to early pioneers Also often using ACE‐V (advocates are not conscious about it)

Numerical Approach:

Numerical Approach

Numerical Approach:

Numerical Approach Are thresholds valid? Ne’urim Symposium and IAI Standardisation (sic) Committees No scientific basis Persuasive “An illusion of certainty” Back

Non-Numerical Approach:

Non-Numerical Approach USA adopts non-numerical standard For completeness, they also consider the numerical approach Terms and Definitions Minutiae: ridge endings and bifurcations only Not dots Features: the totality of anatomical features

Non-Numerical Approach:

Non-Numerical Approach No set threshold of features required ACE‐V Method Analysis Comparison Evaluation Validation

Hypothesis & Conclusions:

Hypothesis & Conclusions Were the fingerprints in question made by the same individual’s finger, or were they made by two different individual’s fingers? Conclusions Fingerprints were made by the same individual – IDENTIFICATION Fingerprints were not made by the same individual – EXCLUSION Can’t be determined with the information available – INCONCLUSIVE Back

Bibliography :

Bibliography Ashbaugh , D. ( n.d .). Ridgeology : Modern Evaluative Friction Ridge Identification . Retrieved July 26, 2012, from Latent Print Examination: Fingerprints, Palmprints and Footprints: Baumgartner , B., Hannaford, J., & Barksdale, L. (2010). Forensic Fingerprint Analysis Basics: Training Module Workbook. San Francisco, California, U.S.A. German, E. (2008, December 20). Problem Idents . Retrieved July 26, 2012, from Latent Print Examination: Fingerprints, Palmprints and Footprints: German, E. (2012, July 23). The History of Fingerprints . Retrieved July 26, 2012, from Latent Print Examination: Fingerprints, Palmprints and Footprints: Montalba, E. T. (2010). Fingerprinting: A Means of Personal Identification. Quezon: Wiseman's Books Trading, Inc. paradigm . (2012). Retrieved July 25, 2012, from Merriam-Webster:

Bibliography :

Bibliography West, S. ( n.d .). Conventional Approaches to Fingerprint Comparison . Retrieved July 26, 2012, from Projects at nfstc :