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Forensic Signature Detection of Yersinia pestis Culturing Practices across Institutions Using a Bayesian Network

Journal: Journal of Forensic Investigation (Vol.2, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

Page : 01-07

Keywords : Bayesian Networks; Bioforensics; Fusion; Integration; Intelligence; Probability;

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The field of bioforensics is focused on the analysis of evidence from a biocrime. Existing laboratory analyses can identify the specific strain of an organism, as well signatures of the specific culture batch of organisms, such as low-frequency contaminants or indicators of growth and processing methods. To link these disparate types of physical data to potential suspects, investigators may need to identify institutions or individuals whose access to strains and culturing practices match those identified from the evidence. In this work, we present a Bayesian statistical network to fuse different types of analytical measurements that predict the production environment of a Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis) sample under investigation with automated text processing of scientific publications to identify institutions with a history of growing Y. pestis under similar conditions. Furthermore, the textual and experimental signatures were evaluated recursively to determine the overall sensitivity of the network across all levels of false positives. We illustrate that institutions associated with several specific culturing practices can be accurately selected based on the experimental signature from only a few analytical measurements. These findings demonstrate that similar Bayesian networks can be generated generically for many organisms of interest and their deployment is not prohibitive due to either computational or experimental factors.

Last modified: 2015-06-23 17:53:47