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The Development and Use of Computational Tools in Forensic Science

NCJ Number
Human Biology Volume: 90 Issue: 3 Dated: 2018 Pages: 231-235
Dennis E. Slice
Date Published
5 pages
Since modern computational resources make available a rich toolkit of statistical methods that can be applied to forensic questions, the current toolkit is built on the foundation of statistical developments dating back to the 19th century.

The full and effective use of these developments requires that the makers and users of software must be aware of the accuracy and precision of the data being modeled or analyzed, and end-users must be familiar with the underlying theory to understand the process and results of any analysis or software they use. This is especially important for medico-legal personnel who might be called upon to testify in a court of law and be subject to cross-examination. Regarding the development of computational tools, it is important that they be made available as open-source code to avoid the pitfalls of commercial software support and the potential dependence of end-users on orphaned software. (publisher abstract modified)