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A Large‐Sample Test of a Semi‐Automated Clavicle Search Engine to Assist Skeletal Identification by Radiograph Comparison

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In 2014, a morphometric capability to search chest radiograph databases by quantified clavicle shape was published to assist skeletal identification. Here, we extend the validation tests conducted by increasing the search universe 18‐fold, from 409 to 7361 individuals to determine whether there is any associated decrease in performance under these more challenging circumstances. The number of trials and analysts were also increased, respectively, from 17 to 30 skeletons, and two to four examiners. Elliptical Fourier analysis was conducted on clavicles from each skeleton by each analyst (shadowgrams trimmed from scratch in every instance) and compared to the search universe. Correctly matching individuals were found in shortlists of 10% of the sample 70% of the time. This rate is similar to, although slightly lower than, rates previously found for much smaller samples (80%). Accuracy and reliability are thereby maintained, even when the comparison system is challenged by much larger search universes.
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Keywords: chest X‐ray; elliptical Fourier analysis; forensic anthropology; forensic science; geometric morphometrics; skeletal identification

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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