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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 124-132

Bayesian Networks for the Age Classification of Living Individuals: A Study on Transition Analysis

School of Criminal Justice, Faculty of Law, Criminal Justice and Public Administration University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

Correspondence Address:
Emanuele Sironi
School of Criminal Justice, University of Lausanne, Building Batochime, 1015 Lausanne-Dorigny
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2349-5014.162785

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Over the past few decades, age estimation of living persons has represented a challenging task for many forensic services worldwide. In general, the process for age estimation includes the observation of the degree of maturity reached by some physical attributes, such as dentition or several ossification centers. The estimated chronological age or the probability that an individual belongs to a meaningful class of ages is then obtained from the observed degree of maturity by means of various statistical methods. Among these methods, those developed in a Bayesian framework offer to users the possibility of coherently dealing with the uncertainty associated with age estimation and of assessing in a transparent and logical way the probability that an examined individual is younger or older than a given age threshold. Recently, a Bayesian network for age estimation has been presented in scientific literature; this kind of probabilistic graphical tool may facilitate the use of the probabilistic approach. Probabilities of interest in the network are assigned by means of transition analysis, a statistical parametric model, which links the chronological age and the degree of maturity by means of specific regression models, such as logit or probit models. Since different regression models can be employed in transition analysis, the aim of this paper is to study the influence of the model in the classification of individuals. The analysis was performed using a dataset related to the ossifications status of the medial clavicular epiphysis and results support that the classification of individuals is not dependent on the choice of the regression model.

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