Article: article from journal or magazin.
Bayesian networks of age estimation and classification based on dental evidence: A study on the third molar mineralization
Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
Not only does the Bayesian approach offer a rational and logical environment for evidence evaluation in a forensic framework, but it also allows scientists to coherently deal with uncertainty related to a collection of multiple items of evidence, due to its flexible nature. Such flexibility might come at the expense of elevated computational complexity, which can be handled by using specific probabilistic graphical tools, namely Bayesian networks. In the current work, such probabilistic tools are used for evaluating dental evidence related to the development of third molars. A set of relevant properties characterizing the graphical models are discussed and Bayesian networks are implemented to deal with the inferential process laying beyond the estimation procedure, as well as to provide age estimates. Such properties include operationality, flexibility, coherence, transparence and sensitivity. A data sample composed of Italian subjects was employed for the analysis; results were in agreement with previous studies in terms of point estimate and age classification. The influence of the prior probability elicitation in terms of Bayesian estimate and classifies was also analyzed. Findings also supported the opportunity to take into consideration multiple teeth in the evaluative procedure, since it can be shown this results in an increased robustness towards the prior probability elicitation process, as well as in more favorable outcomes from a forensic perspective.
Age estimation, Bayesian approach, Bayesian networks, Third molar development, Demirjian's classification, Prior probabiliy, elicitation
Web of science
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