A new method that searches for similar striation patterns using neural networks is described. Neural networks have been developed based on the human brain, which is good at pattern recognition. Therefore, neural networks would be expected to be effective in identifying striated toolmarks on bullets. The neural networks used in this study deal with binary signals derived from striation images. This signal plays a significant role in identification, because this signal is the key to the individuality of the striations. The neural network searches a database for similar striations by means of these binary signals. The neural network used here is a multilayer network consisting of 96 neurons in the input layer, 15 neurons in the middle, and one neuron in the output layer. Two signals are inputted into the network and a score is estimated based on the similarity of these signals. For this purpose, the network is assigned to a previous learning. To initially test the validity of the procedure, the network identifies artificial patterns that are randomly produced on a personal computer. The results were acceptable and showed robustness for the deformation of patterns. Moreover, with ten unidentified bullets and ten database bullets, the network consistently was able to select the correct pair.
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