Analysis of nine compound minutiae with respect to race, gender, and specific finger location
Currie, Dayna Frances
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The NAS report in 2009 brought to light a number of issues within the field of fingerprint identification resulting in a push for more research into the statistical side of fingerprint identification. (1) Previous research has focused mainly on the most commonly observed minutiae (points of variance) within the fingerprints such as ridge endings, bifurcations and dots, with less focus on compound minutiae, which consist of less common variations of the basic minutia types. (2-13) Nine different types of compound minutiae were chosen for analysis in this study: trifurcations, islands/short ridges, lakes/enclosures, bifurcations opposite a ridge ending, bridges, opposed bifurcations, deviated ridges, handshakes, and hooks/spurs. The fingerprints of one hundred individuals from five different racial/ethnic groups were examined in order to determine whether any correlations were observed between race, gender, or specific finger location and the numbers/type of compound minutiae observed. The data revealed that the largest percentage of total compound minutiae observed (30%) was on the fingerprints obtained from people with a White racial/ethnic background, followed by individuals coming from a White Hispanic background (22%). Islands were the minutia type observed most frequently (34%), followed closely by lakes (31 %); deviated ridges and trifurcations were observed the least (1 %). When the total amounts of compound minutiae were calculated with respect to finger location, the greatest amount of the minutiae points, about 30%, were located on thumbs and the least amount, about 12%, were located on little fingers. With respect to gender, the greatest amount of minutiae (57%) was located on the fingerprints of males. With the exception of lakes, all of the compound minutiae were observed more often on the fingerprints of males than on those of females. Based on Chi-Square analysis, correlations were determined between race/ethnicity and the occurrence of compound minutiae, between finger location and the occurrence of compound minutiae, and between gender and the occurrence of compound minutiae.
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