alexa Quantification of the shape of handwritten characters: a step to objective discrimination between writers based on the study of the capital character O.
General Science

General Science

Journal of Forensic Research

Author(s): Marquis R, Schmittbuhl M, Mazzella WD, Taroni F, Marquis R, Schmittbuhl M, Mazzella WD, Taroni F

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Abstract In view of contributing to the scientific validation of the individuality of handwriting, the testing of the two so called fundamental laws of handwriting--1: no two people write exactly alike; 2: no one person writes the same word exactly the same way twice--was approached by analysing the shape of 445 handwritten capital characters O produced by three individuals. A methodology based on classical Fourier descriptors was applied to the characters contours, which were extracted through an automated procedure of image analysis. Precise individual characterization of the shape was possible through Fourier analysis. Within-writer variability of the shape of character O for the writers selected could be shown in an objective and quantitative way through the statistical analysis of the Fourier descriptors. It was demonstrated that this polymorphism differed between the three writers. Differentiation between writers was quantitatively demonstrated by discriminant analysis of the Fourier descriptors, and by the existence of marked morphological distances between the set of characters O of each writer. The degree of dissimilitude of the character O writings could, thus, be assessed. Because of relatively reduced within-writer variability and a pronounced differentiation between the writers, a morphological profile could be established and discrimination between writers could be obtained through the quantification of the shape of one handwritten character. This article was published in Forensic Sci Int and referenced in Journal of Forensic Research

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