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Data Mining Research - Data mining application: terrorism

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Data mining application: terrorism

Here is another example, certainly well known, of what data mining can do. Colleen McCue has written an interesting paper about this topic in the Defense Intelligence Journal. This article has the advantage to be understandable by people interested in data mining but not familiar with the topic of terrorism.

As written in the paper, the environment is saturated by information. The article shows why it is the case when dealing with terrorism data. Fayyad et al. (1) had already written that "The capacity of digital data storage worldwide has doubled every nine months for at least a decade, at twice the rate predicted by Moore's Law for the growth of computing power during the same period". It seems to be particularly true for terrorism data.

The paper covers areas such as information collection, identity theft and anomaly detection (among others) in a predictive analysis view. It is a comprehensive paper giving a good idea of nowadays applications in data mining against terrorism. When defining terrorism, the author writes "[...] terrorism can be described as violence with a larger agenda". Although this definition is understandable, a more precise description of what exactly terrorism is would have been a plus.

If, like me, you want to know more about data mining and predictive analytics against terrorism, I suggest you the new book from McCue: Data Mining and Predictive Analysis: Intelligence Gathering and Crime Analysis.

(1) Usama M. Fayyad, Ramasamy Uthurusamy: Evolving data into mining solutions for insights. Commun. ACM 45(8): 28-31 (2002)

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Shyam Varan Nath said...

Oracle Protct for Law Enforcement is an interesting project that uses Business Intelligence techniques (such as Spatial and Text searches, Oracle Data Mining) for helping solve crime and for counter terrorism measures.
The geospatial display of crime along with fuzzy search capabilites using Text search capabilities help to empower the detectives and crime amalysts. Also check out the

Shyam Varan Nath

Sandro Saitta said...

Thanks for the post. It is always a plus to have comments from experts in the field. I will have a look at your blog, which seems promising.

Anonymous said...

I think it remains to be seen if data mining will be useful for counter terrorism.

Jeff Jonas has some interesting posts on this topic, such as this one.

Sandro Saitta said...

Thanks for the link. I had already noticed his paper regarding the effectiveness of data mining for terrorism. I have recently read it and I will comment about it soon.

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