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An examination of quantitative methods for Forensic Signature Analysis and the admissibility of signature verification system as legal evidence.

Chatzisterkotis, Thomas (2015) An examination of quantitative methods for Forensic Signature Analysis and the admissibility of signature verification system as legal evidence. Master of Science by Research (MScRes) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:54048)

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The experiments described in this thesis deal with handwriting characteristics which are involved in the production of forged and genuine signatures and complexity of signatures. The objectives of this study were (1) to provide su?cient details on which of the signature characteristics are easier to forge, (2) to investigate the capabilities of the signature complexity formula given by Found et al. based on a different signature database provided by University of Kent. This database includes the writing movements of 10 writers producing their genuine signature and of 140 writers forging these sample signatures. Using the 150 genuine signatures without constrictions of the Kent’s database an evaluation of the complexity formula suggested in Found et al took place divided the signature in three categories low, medium and high graphical complexity. The results of the formula implementation were compared with the opinions of three leading professional forensic document examiners employed by Key Forensics in the UK.

The analysis of data for Study I reveals that there is not ample evidence that high quality forgeries are possible after training. In addition, a closer view of the kinematics of the forging writers is responsible for our main conclusion, that forged signatures are widely different from genuine especially in the kinematic domain. From all the parameters used in this study 11 out of 15 experienced significant changes when the comparison of the two groups (genuine versus forged signature) took place and gave a clear picture of which parameters can assist forensic document examiners and can be used by them to examine the signatures forgeries. The movements of the majority of forgers are signi?cantly slower than those of authentic writers. It is also clearly recognizable that the majority of forgers perform higher levels of pressure when trying to forge the genuine signature. The results of Study II although limited and not entirely consistent with the study of Found that proposed this model, indicate that the model can provide valuable objective evidence (regarding complex signatures) in the forensic environment and justify its further investigation but more work is need to be done in order to use this type of models in the court of law. The model was able to predict correctly only 53% of the FDEs opinion regarding the complexity of the signatures.

Apart from the above investigations in this study there will be also a reference at the debate which has started in recent years that is challenging the validity of forensic handwriting experts’ skills and at the effort which has begun by interested parties of this sector to validate and standardise the field of forensic handwriting examination and a discussion started. This effort reveals that forensic document analysis field meets all factors which were set by Daubert ruling in terms of theory proven, education, training, certification, falsifiability, error rate, peer review and publication, general acceptance. However innovative methods are needed for the development of forensic document analysis discipline. Most modern and effective solution in order to prevent observational and emotional bias would be the development of an automated handwriting or signature analysis system. This system will have many advantages in real cases scenario. In addition the significant role of computer-assisted handwriting analysis in the daily work of forensic document examiners (FDE) or the judicial system is in agreement with the assessment of the National Research Council of United States that “the scientific basis for handwriting comparison needs to be strengthened”, however it seems that further research is required in order to be able these systems to reach the accomplishment point of this objective and overcome legal obstacles presented in this study.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Science by Research (MScRes))
Thesis advisor: Guest, Richard
Uncontrolled keywords: Forensic Signature Analysis; Signature Verification System; Biometrics; Scientific Evidence; Legal Evidence
Subjects: T Technology
T Technology > TT Handicrafts. Arts and crafts
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Engineering and Digital Arts
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2016 18:00 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 08:07 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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