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Reconstruction of Deformed Bite Marks Using Affine Transformations

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Bite marks inflicted on animate and inanimate objects will undergo a certain degree of deformation. This fact remains one of the biggest stumbling blocks when analyzing evidence for court presentation. It has been demonstrated that the reliability of pattern association analysis will not be affected by minimal degrees of warping, shrinkage, and distortion. In this study, affine transformations were applied to bite marks to establish if minimal distortions would affect the mathematically determined relationships of the defined features. In a real case study, it was then tested whether the distorted bite mark matched the dentition of the perpetrator by applying an affine transformation. This was confirmed to be the case. Affine transformations will thus not affect the relationships of the individual features found in bite marks. The numerical calculations validate the reliability of pattern association analysis in the presence of minimal amounts of warping, shrinkage, and distortion.

Keywords: affine transformations; bite mark deformations; forensic odontology; forensic science

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, University of Pretoria, South Africa. 2: Department of Oral Pathology and Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, University of Pretoria, PO Box 1266, Pretoria 0001, Gauteng, South Africa.

Publication date: 2010-05-01

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