Matrix analysis- a technique to investigate the spatial properties of handwritten images
Keywords:Computer based handwriting analysis systems, spatial properties of handwritten images, Matrix Analysis techniques
Research on objective measurement strategies to assist forensic handwriting experts to make judgements about spatial consistency are providing novel techniques that exhibit considerable potential. We have developed the ‘Matrix Analysis’ computer program based on the PEAT system philosophy that allows the operator to objectively select measurement points from handwriting, edit these points according to the accepted relationship between curvature maxima and velocity minima, and calculate automatically the measurement range between all the combinations of points selected. This provides the examiner with a semi-automated objective score of the spatial consistency of the questioned image when compared to the range of variation in the standard images. On a typical signature the Matrix Analysis technique compares between 25,000 and 100,000 measurements to generate a spatial consistency score. It is at the stage of determining whether a questioned image is consistent or inconsistent with the range of variation in a standard image group that techniques of this type offer great potential. Examiners of handwriting can then use this information to explore hypotheses from which opinions regarding authorship can be mounted.
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