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Quantifying the Dermatoglyphic Growth Patterns in Children Through Adolescence

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2010
57 pages
This project's objective was to research friction ridge patterns in fingerprint skin during a period of rapid growth (such as from childhood through adolescence), in order to determine whether a commonality of growth exists and to develop a statistically valid mathematical model for predicting this change.
Based on the results, the study concluded that a Minutiae Growth Map (MGM) is not feasible. A MGM is a linear, affine transformation that maps a set of a child's minutiae at one age to a set of their minutiae at a different age. The researchers, however, used another technique in order to achieve the project's goal of matching a child's minutiae at one age to a set of their minutiae at an older age. A previously developed process was used to compensate for plastic distortion. Initially, this algorithm was planned to augment the automated Minutiae Extraction Matching Tool (MEMT) in order to more accurately place minutiae. The research team modified the algorithm as a stand-alone matcher and was able to match all fingerprint pairs from all of the study's collection epochs. Although this algorithm is not the MGM originally envisioned, the research team was still able to meet a project goal of demonstrating a successful method for matching fingerprints of individuals after many years of growth. The results may be worthy of future exploration and development. The project involved the capture of children's fingerprints at specific intervals. Prior to any interaction with collection subjects, an Independent Review Board application and review process was completed, as was a full design research protocol. Regional Boy Scout groups proved to be willing and available subjects for the study. Initial subject fingerprints were collected during the first 1 1/2 years and re-collected for study during a subsequent 3-year period. Appended data on variation in minutiae location

Date Published: December 1, 2010