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Insects 2017, 8(2), 47; doi:10.3390/insects8020047

The Role of a PMI-Prediction Model in Evaluating Forensic Entomology Experimental Design, the Importance of Covariates, and the Utility of Response Variables for Estimating Time Since Death

1
Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, USA
2
School of Public Health, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: David Rivers and John R. Wallace
Received: 17 March 2017 / Revised: 19 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 1 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Forensic Entomology)
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Abstract

The most common forensic entomological application is the estimation of some portion of the time since death, or postmortem interval (PMI). To our knowledge, a PMI estimate is almost never accompanied by an associated probability. Statistical methods are now available for calculating confidence limits for an insect-based prediction of PMI for both succession and development data. In addition to it now being possible to employ these approaches in validation experiments and casework, it is also now possible to use the criterion of prediction performance to guide training experiments, i.e., to modify carrion insect development or succession experiment design in ways likely to improve the performance of PMI predictions using the resulting data. In this paper, we provide examples, derived from our research program on calculating PMI estimate probabilities, of how training data experiment design can influence the performance of a statistical model for PMI prediction. View Full-Text
Keywords: postmortem interval; inverse prediction; experimental design; statistical methodology; validation postmortem interval; inverse prediction; experimental design; statistical methodology; validation
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Wells, J.; LaMotte, L. The Role of a PMI-Prediction Model in Evaluating Forensic Entomology Experimental Design, the Importance of Covariates, and the Utility of Response Variables for Estimating Time Since Death. Insects 2017, 8, 47.

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