Key Parameters of Face Shape Variation in 3D in a Large Sample

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Improvement of methods for evidential facial comparison for the Courts relies on the collection of large databases of facial images that permit the analysis of face shape variation and the development of statistical tools. In this paper, we present a short description and key findings of an anthropometric study of face shape variation in three-dimensions. We used Statistical Shape Analysis to investigate a large database sample (n =1968), classified by age and gender. We found that size, shape of the bilateral features and midline contributed successively to overall variation. Face size is associated with age. Sexual dimorphism is evident in size and shape, and shows patterns that affect male and female subjects differently. We anticipate this approach will lend itself to the development of methods for analysis of variation within subject groups and the establishment of the relative uniqueness or abundance of facial measurements within them.

Keywords: anthropometry; biometrics; facial comparison; forensic science; principal components analysis; shape analysis

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Forensic Science Program, University of Toronto Mississauga, Mississauga, ON, Canada L5L 1C6. 2: School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK. 3: Department of Probability and Statistics, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S3 7RH, UK. 4: College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 5EH, UK. 5: Department of Computer Science, State University of New York (SUNY), 7060 Route 104, Oswego, NY 13126-3599. 6: Forensic Audio Video and Image Analysis Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Building 27958A, Quantico, VA 22135.

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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