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Estimating the Temperature of Heat-exposed Bone via Machine Learning Analysis of SCI Color Values: A Pilot Study
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Linköping University, Sweden; Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA, USA.
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Number of Authors: 52019 (English)In: Journal of Forensic Sciences, ISSN 0022-1198, E-ISSN 1556-4029, Vol. 64, no 1, p. 190-195Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Determining maximum heating temperatures of burnt bones is a long-standing problem in forensic science and archaeology. In this pilot study, controlled experiments were used to heat 14 fleshed and defleshed pig vertebrae (wet bones) and archaeological human vertebrae (dry bones) to temperatures of 400, 600, 800, and 1000 degrees C. Specular component included (SCI) color values were recorded from the bone surfaces with a Konica-Minolta cm-2600d spectrophotometer. These color values were regressed onto heating temperature, using both a traditional linear model and the k-nearest neighbor (k-NN) machine-learning algorithm. Mean absolute errors (MAE) were computed for 1000 rounds of temperature prediction. With the k-NN approach, the median MAE prediction errors were 41.6 degrees C for the entire sample, and 20.9 degrees C for the subsample of wet bones. These results indicate that spectrophotometric color measurements combined with machine learning methods can be a viable tool for estimating bone heating temperature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 64, no 1, p. 190-195
Keywords [en]
forensic science, forensic anthropology, cremains, burned bone, color measurement, regression analysis
National Category
Biological Sciences History and Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-165783DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.13858ISI: 000454935900025PubMedID: 30001473OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-165783DiVA, id: diva2:1291813
Available from: 2019-02-26 Created: 2019-02-26 Last updated: 2019-02-26Bibliographically approved

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Wärmländer, Sebastian K. T. S.
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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