Published Online: July
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In response to Professor Saks’s critique we first wish to provide some background to our work. Numerous challenges have been made in the courts against presenting expert forensic testimony on the grounds of whether the particular modality of forensic evidence has a scientific basis (1). Our research group has been engaged, for over two decades, in the domain of processing handwriting by computer (2). Both the legal debate and our research experience motivated us to undertake computer-based studies of handwriting individuality. Having worked with millions of samples of handwriting encountered by postal services we were familiar with the automatic analysis of computerscanned handwriting. We had explored how to take advantage of the individual characteristics of a writer in deciphering an address but had not done, prior to the work reported in Ref (3), a study of whether handwriting was individual.
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