Teaching artificial intelligence to read electropherograms

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    Electropherograms are produced in great numbers in forensic DNA laboratories as part of everyday criminal casework. Before the results of these electropherograms can be used they must be scrutinised by analysts to determine what the identified data tells us about the underlying DNA sequences and what is purely an artefact of the DNA profiling process. A technique that lends itself well to such a task of classification in the face of vast amounts of data is the use of artificial neural networks. These networks, inspired by the workings of the human brain, have been increasingly successful in analysing large datasets, performing medical diagnoses, identifying handwriting, playing games, or recognising images. In this work we demonstrate the use of an artificial neural network which we train to ‘read’ electropherograms and show that it can generalise to unseen profiles.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)10-18
    Number of pages9
    JournalForensic Science International: Genetics
    Early online date2016
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


    • Artefact detection
    • Artificial neural network
    • Electropherogram
    • Gel reading


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