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In International journal of legal medicine

Seasonal or monthly databases of the diatom populations in specific bodies of water are needed to infer the drowning site of a drowned body. However, existing diatom testing methods are laborious, time-consuming, and costly and usually require specific expertise. In this study, we developed an artificial intelligence (AI)-based system as a substitute for manual morphological examination capable of identifying and classifying diatoms at the species level. Within two days, the system collected information on diatom profiles in the Huangpu and Suzhou Rivers of Shanghai, China. In an animal experiment, the similarities of diatom profiles between lung tissues and water samples were evaluated through a modified Jensen-Shannon (JS) divergence measure for drowning site inference, reaching a prediction accuracy of 92.31%. Considering its high efficiency and simplicity, our proposed method is believed to be more applicable than existing methods for seasonal or monthly water monitoring of diatom populations from sections of interconnected rivers, which would help police narrow the investigation scope to confirm the identity of an immersed body.

Zhang Ji, Zhou Yuanyuan, Vieira Duarte Nuno, Cao Yongjie, Deng Kaifei, Cheng Qi, Zhu Yongzheng, Zhang Jianhua, Qin Zhiqiang, Ma Kaijun, Chen Yijiu, Huang Ping


Convolutional neutral network, Deep learning, Diatom, Digital pathology, Drowning, Site of drowning