2015 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research
Huntington Beach, Calif.
CORS - INFORMS Joint International Meeting
Le Centre Sheraton, Montreal
INFORMS Healthcare 2015
2015 Analytics Applications Summit
Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, Harrisburg, Pa. (Free event)
Special ArticlesFinalists named for UPS George D. Smith Prize
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), publishers of Analytics magazine and the leading association for professionals in advanced analytics, recently announced three finalists for the UPS George D. Smith Prize that recognizes an academic institution’s excellence in preparing students to become practitioners of analytics and operations research.Read More
CAP NewsAnalytics Maturity Model: Check strengths, weaknesses to improve
The new INFORMS Analytics Maturity Model (AMM) is proving to be a reliable self-assessment tool for analytics experts who want to determine how well their organizations gain the benefits of analytics. AMM allows you to input data about your organization – data is double encrypted to ensure security – rank your use of analytics on a 10-point scale and reuse the model to do comparisons over time.Read More
Analytics Section of INFORMS NewsCelebrate and learn more about the INFORMS CAP program
Anyone interested in learning more about the INFORMS Certified Analytics Professional (CAP®) program and celebrating the program’s two-year anniversary is invited to a gathering on the afternoon of April 13 in Huntington Beach, Calif., in conjunction with the INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics and Operations Research.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.”