Development of Crime Scene Intelligence Using a Hand-Held Raman Spectrometer and Transfer Learning

Anal Chem. 2021 Jun 29;93(25):8889-8896. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.1c01099. Epub 2021 Jun 17.


The classification of ignitable liquids, such as gasoline, is critical crime scene intelligence to assist arson investigations. Rapid field gasoline classification is challenging because the current forensic testing standard requires gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of evidence in an accredited laboratory. In this work, we reported a new intelligent analytical platform for field identification and classification of gasoline evidence. A hand-held Raman spectrometer was utilized to collect Raman spectra of reference gasoline samples with various octane numbers. The Raman spectrum pattern was converted into image presentations by continuous wavelet transformation (CWT) to facilitate artificial intelligence development using the transfer learning technique. GoogLeNet, a pretrained convolutional neural network (CNN), was adapted to train the classification model. Six different classification models were also developed from the same data set using conventional machine learning algorithms to evaluate the performance of our new approach. The experimental results indicated that the pretrained CNN model developed by our new data workflow outperformed other models in several performance benchmarks, such as accuracy, precision, recall, F1, Cohen's Kappa, and Matthews correlation coefficient. When the transfer learning model was challenged with the data collected from weathered gasoline samples, the classifier could still offer 73 and 53% accuracy for 50 and 25% weathered gasoline samples, respectively. In conclusion, wavelet transforms combined with transfer learning successfully processed and classified complex Raman spectral data without feature engineering. We envision that this nondestructive, automated, and accurate platform will accelerate crime scene intelligence development based on evidence's chemical signatures detected by hand-held Raman spectrometers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Crime
  • Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • Neural Networks, Computer*