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Proceedings Paper

A first proposal for a general description model of forensic traces
Author(s): Ina Lindauer; Martin Schäler; Claus Vielhauer; Gunter Saake; Mario Hildebrandt
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Paper Abstract

In recent years, the amount of digitally captured traces at crime scenes increased rapidly. There are various kinds of such traces, like pick marks on locks, latent fingerprints on various surfaces as well as different micro traces. Those traces are different from each other not only in kind but also in which information they provide. Every kind of trace has its own properties (e.g., minutiae for fingerprints, or raking traces for locks) but there are also large amounts of metadata which all traces have in common like location, time and other additional information in relation to crime scenes. For selected types of crime scene traces, type-specific databases already exist, such as the ViCLAS for sexual offences, the IBIS for ballistic forensics or the AFIS for fingerprints. These existing forensic databases strongly differ in the trace description models. For forensic experts it would be beneficial to work with only one database capable of handling all possible forensic traces acquired at a crime scene. This is especially the case when different kinds of traces are interrelated (e.g., fingerprints and ballistic marks on a bullet casing). Unfortunately, current research on interrelated traces as well as general forensic data models and structures is not mature enough to build such an encompassing forensic database. Nevertheless, recent advances in the field of contact-less scanning make it possible to acquire different kinds of traces with the same device. Therefore the data of these traces is structured similarly what simplifies the design of a general forensic data model for different kinds of traces. In this paper we introduce a first common description model for different forensic trace types. Furthermore, we apply for selected trace types from the well established database schema development process the phases of transferring expert knowledge in the corresponding forensic fields into an extendible, database-driven, generalised forensic description model. The trace types considered here are fingerprint traces, traces at locks, micro traces and ballistic traces. Based on these basic trace types, also combined traces (multiple or overlapped fingerprints, fingerprints on bullet casings, etc) and partial traces are considered.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 2012
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8436, Optics, Photonics, and Digital Technologies for Multimedia Applications II, 84360U (1 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.922053
Show Author Affiliations
Ina Lindauer, Brandenburg Univ. of Applied Science (Germany)
Martin Schäler, Otto-von-Guericke-Univ. Magdeburg (Germany)
Claus Vielhauer, Brandenburg Univ. of Applied Science (Germany)
Gunter Saake, Otto-von-Guericke-Univ. Magdeburg (Germany)
Mario Hildebrandt, Otto-von-Guericke-Univ. Magdeburg (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8436:
Optics, Photonics, and Digital Technologies for Multimedia Applications II
Peter Schelkens; Touradj Ebrahimi; Gabriel Cristóbal; Frédéric Truchetet; Pasi Saarikko, Editor(s)

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