There are some collections of glass that have been used to test the performance of the matching rules for some of the variables used in forensic testing. An FBI publication from 2009 offers the following summary:
If I understand the argument, the author contends that high sensitivity is more important than high specificity. That makes sense for a screening test that will be followed by a more specific test, but in general, is it better to avoid falsely associating a defendant with crime-scene glass or to avoid falsely associating the defendant with the known glass? Any decision rule as to what is "indistinguishable" will generate a mix of false positives and false negatives. Should not the ASTM standards provide estimates from data (that might be representative of some relevant population) of these risks for each decision rule that the standards endorse or mandate?
- Maureen C. Bottrell, Forensic Glass Comparison: Background Information Used in Data Interpretation, 11 Forensic Sci. Communications No. 2 (2009), https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/lab/forensic-science-communications/fsc/april2009/review/2009_04_review01.htm/
- Broken Glass, Mangled Statistics, Forensic Science, Statistics, and the Law, Feb. 3, 2016