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The falling cost of adding sensing and communications to consumer products will mean that a typical family home, in a mature affluent market, could contain 500 smart objects by 2022, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner said that the smart home will be an area of dramatic evolution over the next decade and will offer many innovative digital business opportunities to those organizations who can adapt their products and services to exploit it.Read More
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Some 92 percent of executives from companies that are applying big data to their businesses said they are satisfied with the results, according to new research by Accenture. Another 89 percent of respondents rated big data as “very important” or “extremely important” to their businesses’ digital transformation, and 82 percent agreed big data provides a significant source of value for their companies.Read More
CAP NewsUpcoming INFORMS analytics continuing ed courses
INFORMS, the world’s largest organization for advanced analytics professionals, produces and disseminates data analytics and operations research information, training courses, certification and best-in-class resources for its members and the industry at large. Four upcoming intensive hands-on courses provide professionals with real take-away value, imparting participants with skills, tools and methods that can be implemented immediately in their respective work.Read More
Statistical model unlocks barriers to fingerprint evidence
Potentially key fingerprint evidence is currently not being considered due to shortcomings in the way it is reported, according to a report published in the February issue of Significance, the magazine of the Royal Statistical Society and the American Statistical Association. Researchers involved in the study have devised a statistical model to enable the weight of fingerprint evidence to be quantified, paving the way for its full inclusion in the criminal identification process.
Fingerprints have been used for over a century as a way of identifying criminals. However, fingerprint evidence is not currently permitted to be reported in court unless examiners claim absolute certainty that a mark has been left by a particular suspect. This courtroom certainty is based purely on categorical personal opinion, formed through years of training and experience, but not on logic or scientific data. Less than certain fingerprint evidence is not reported at all, irrespective of the potential weight and relevance of this evidence in a case.
The paper highlights this subjectivity in current processes, calling for changes in the way such key evidence is allowed to be presented. According to Professor of Statistics Cedric Neumann, “It is unthinkable that such valuable evidence should not be reported, effectively hidden from courts on a regular basis. Such is the importance of this wealth of data, we have devised a reliable statistical model to enable the courts to evaluate fingerprint evidence within a framework similar to that which underpins DNA evidence.”
Neumann, from Pennsylvania State University, and his team devised and successfully tested a model for establishing the probability of a print belonging to a particular suspect. After mapping the finer points of detail on a “control print” and “crime scene print,” two hypotheses were then tested. The first test, to establish the probability that the crime scene print was made by the owner of the control print (the suspect), compared the control print with a range of other prints made by the suspect. The second test, to establish the probability that the crime scene print was made by someone other than the suspect, compared the crime scene print with a set of prints in a reference database. A likelihood ratio between the two probabilities was calculated; the higher the ratio indicating stronger evidence that the suspect was the source of the crime scene print.
“Current practice allows a state of certainty to be presented which is not justified scientifically, or supported by logical process or data,” says Neumann. “We believe that the examiner should not decide what evidence should or should not be presented. Our method allows all evidence to be supported by data, and reported according to a continuous scale.”