Traditionally, sources of digital evidence are analyzed by individually examining the various artifacts contained therein and using the artifact metadata to validate authenticity and sequence them. However, when artifacts from forensic images, folders, log files, and network packet dumps have to be analyzed, the examination of the artifacts and the metadata in isolation presents a significant challenge. Ideally, when a source is examined, it is a valuable task to determine correlations between the artifacts and group the related artifacts. Such a grouping can simplify the task of analysis by minimizing the need for human intervention. By virtue of the value that metadata bring to an investigation and its ubiquitous nature, metadata based associations is the first step in realizing such correlations automatically during analysis. In this paper, we present the AssocGEN analysis engine which uses the metadata to determine associations between artifacts that belong to files, logs and network packet dumps, and identifies metadata associations to group the related artifacts. A metadata association can represent any type of value match1 or relationship that is deemed relevant in the context of an investigation. We have conducted preliminary evaluation of AssocGEN on the classical ownership problem to highlight the benefits of incorporating this approach in existing forensic tools. © 2013 IEEE.