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Characterization of Latent Print "Lights-Out" Modes for Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS)



Vladimir N. Dvornychenko, Stephen B. Meagher, Michael Garris


The term "lights-out" for AFIS ten-print fingerprint operations has been around for many years and is generally understood to mean "no human intervention is involved." But is this appropriate for AFIS latent print operations? Is it truly possible to conduct AFIS latent print searches without human intervention? The short answer is: not entirely, but the amount of human expert assistance can be greatly reduced. To determine where the effort can be reduced requires a careful examination of: a) the various stages of a latent print examination and AFIS processes; b) the traditional role of the human expert in each stage; c) the difficulty of automating the task done by the expert; and d) the gain/loss in performance that might result from eliminating human involvement. The results of such an examination are that various AFIS latent print "lights-out" scenarios emerge in a "tiered" manner, though the tiers presented are not necessarily sequential. This paper examines seven scenarios, defined herein as Tiers 1 through 7, entailing ever-increasing amounts of automation. Some of the salient pros and cons of each tier are briefly discussed. It is suggested that more definitive analysis of the seven tiers requires a good cost/benefit model. Part of the benefit of this discussion is to create a common understanding and standard terminology for these scenarios.
Journal of Forensic Identification


Fingerprints, Latent Fingerprints, Latent Prints, Ten-prints, Automated Search, AFIS, AFEM, EFS, Lights-Out, Cost/Benefit Modeling, CSI, Latent Print Expert, Candidate List, Exemplar, True Mate, Identification, Individualization, Exclusion


Dvornychenko, V. , Meagher, S. and Garris, M. (2014), Characterization of Latent Print "Lights-Out" Modes for Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS), Journal of Forensic Identification (Accessed June 19, 2024)


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Created April 30, 2014, Updated February 29, 2024