Fired Bullet Signature Correlation Using the Congruent Matching Profile Segments (CMPS) Method
Zhe Chen, Wei Chu, Johannes A. Soons, Robert M. Thompson, Jun-Feng Song, Xuezeng Zhao
We introduce the Congruent Matching Profile Segments (CMPS) method for objective comparison of striated tool marks and apply it to fired bullet signature correlations. This method is derived in part from the congruent matching cell (CMC) method developed for the comparison of impressed tool marks. This proposed method is designed to increase comparison accuracy by addressing the challenges of comparison errors of striae profiles caused by varying lateral scales, varying vertical amplifications, and sections of striae that are poorly marked or have little to no similarity. Instead of correlating between the entire profiles extracted from striated tool marks, the method divides one of the compared profiles into segments. Each segment is then correlated with the other profile. The CMPS method uses the normalized cross-correlation function with a multiple correlation peak inspection to determine the number of profile segments that have both significant topography similarity and a congruent registration position. Initial tests were performed on the land engraved areas (LEAs) of 35 bullets fired from 10 consecutively manufactured pistol barrels. The results show clear separation between the CMPS scores of the 549 known non-matching (KNM) LEA profiles and the 46 known matching (KM) LEA profiles. These results are an improvement over those using the correlation coefficient score of a full profile similarity method. The large number of CMPS segment correlations may facilitate a statistical approach to error rate estimations.