Man vs. Machine

A comparative analysis for Signature Verification


  • Muhammad Imran Malik German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)
  • Marcus Liwicki University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Andreas Dengel German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)
  • Bryan Found Victoria Police Forensic Services Department



Signature verification, Signature Comparison, Forensic handwriting analysis, Performance comparison, Evlauation, 4nSigComp2010, 4nSigComp2012


Signatures have been used as a means to authenticate documents for centuries. From the outset, the focus of forensic examinations was to both objectively and subjectively establish whether they were genuine (written by the specimen author) or simulated (written by an imposter/forger). With the emergence of new computing technologies, additional objective examination techniques designed to determine the authenticity of questioned signatures became available. Although the opinions of Forensic Handwriting Examiners (FHEs) remain the most popular method of signature authenticity determinations, computer based techniques are attracting increasing interest within the forensic community. The question here is; which is better: man or machine? To address this question we focus on empirically comparing the performance of the two, on the same or similar material. The novelty of this work is that we have applied various state-of-the-art signature verification systems to questioned signature problems which had already been worked by FHEs and then performed a comparative analysis of the two.

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How to Cite

Malik, M. I., Liwicki, M., Dengel, A., & Found, B. (2014). Man vs. Machine: A comparative analysis for Signature Verification. Journal of Forensic Document Examination, 24, 21–35.

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