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Departments : Computers & Software

Lafayette Instruments LX 9.5 Polygraph Software

June 01, 2004  |  by Bob Davis

LX 9.5 also facilitates the process of creating a subject's biographical record and pre-examination record. A standard set of questions that can be used to capture personal history data on each tested subject is pre-programmed into the software and displays in a dialog box. I'd prefer to see an entire window opened, so that the user could see all the questions rather than scrolling down through a list, but this feature is very useful. And if you don't like the preformatted questions, you can use your own. The designers left room to create 10 more Yes/No-type questions appropriate for your department or your specific case.

Other subject prep features include a database that allows you to check if any prescription or over-the-counter medications and even any illegal drugs that the subject admits to taking will affect the test. In addition, biometric fields such as fingerprints and photos can be captured and made part of the permanent record for positive identification for any followup questioning by investigators.

LX 9.5 also comes with several questions templates. A template is a question set that may be used as the basis for creating other question sets or as a question set containing commonly asked questions. New questions are easily created with a drag-and-drop interface, and they can be color coded for relevance or "control" irrelevant questions.

Once you have the questions prepared, editing, if necessary, is a simple point-and-click or cut-and-paste operation. This is a real time-saver if new facts are discovered during the pre-test interview. Since no answer in an examination should be a surprise, if one comes up during the preparation, you won't have to go back and change it in multiple places.

After you've completed the tests, the scoring begins. LX 9.5 not only allows scoring using the Objective Scoring System (OSS) applied by the polygraph operator, it also lets you run algorithms such as POLYSCORE developed by Johns Hopkins University, or Quest, the Quantitative Evaluation System that graphically displays relative reaction strengths with color-coded bar graph or hodograph. Also available is IDENTIFI, which utilizes a three- or seven-position scale, allows an examiner to analyze relevant questions against weaker adjacent or preceding comparison questions. This algorithm will score many different examination types, including screening tests such as preemployment and security examinations. If that's not enough, and sometimes its not, LX 9.5 provides a built-in e-mail function that packages up all the necessary files, lets you password protect them if you choose, and zips them off to a colleague across the Internet for his or her interpretation.

When you've reached a consensus, LX-4000 even helps you document your analysis. The software interfaces with three standard word processors so you can draw on its data while writing your report.

It's been said that confession is good for the soul. Well, when you combine a well- trained and experienced polygraph operator and Lafayette Instruments' LX 9.5, you might just see the number of confessions rising in the near future.

A 25-year police veteran, Bob Davis currently runs the San Diego Police Department's computer lab.

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