How reliable is the sub-population model in DNA testimony?

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Forensic Sci Int, 2006, 157 (2-3), pp. 144 - 148
Issue Date:
2006-03-10
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The performance of the sub-population model first proposed by Balding and Nichols [D.J. Balding, R.A. Nichols, DNA profile match probability calculation: how to allow for population stratification, relatedness, database selection and single bands. Forensic Sci. Int. 64 (1994) 125-140] is examined using a simulation approach. This work extends the investigations of Curran et al. [J.M. Curran, J.S. Buckleton, and C.M. Triggs, What is the magnitude of the sub-population effect? Forensic Sci. Int. 135 (2003) 1-8]. In particular the effect of underestimating the coancestry coefficient, theta, and the effect of departures from the modelling assumptions were investigated. The model tends to give strongly conservative estimates if the estimate for the coancestry coefficient is accurate. If this coefficient is underestimated then a larger fraction of cases give non-conservative estimates. Departures from the modelling assumption that the sub-population is in Hardy-Weinberg and linkage equilibria appear to have very little effect.
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