An experimental study on the applicability of evolutionary algorithms to craniofacial superimposition in forensic identification

Oscar Ibáñez, Lucia Ballerini, Oscar Cordón, Sergio Damas, José Santamaria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Photographic supra-projection is a forensic process that aims to identify a missing person from a photograph and a skull found. One of the crucial tasks throughout all this process is the craniofacial superimposition which tries to find a good fit between a 3D model of the skull and the 2D photo of the face. This photographic supra-projection stage is usually carried out manually by forensic anthropologists. It is thus very time consuming and presents several difficulties. In this paper, we aim to demonstrate that real-coded evolutionary algorithms are suitable approaches to tackle craniofacial superimposition. To do so, we first formulate this complex task in forensic identification as a numerical optimization problem. Then, we adapt three different evolutionary algorithms to solve it: two variants of a real-coded genetic algorithm and the state of the art evolution strategy CMA-ES. We also consider an existing binary-coded genetic algorithm as a baseline. Results on several superimposition problems of real-world identification cases solved by the Physical Anthropology lab at the University of Granada (Spain) are considered to test our proposals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3998-4028
Number of pages31
JournalInformation Sciences
Volume179
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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