Subrahmanian software featured in ScienceScience magazine is featuring the research of ISR-affiliated Professor V.S. Subrahmanian (CS/UMIACS) in a story that details how the U.S. military has tried to integrate cultural, behavioral, and economic aspects of an adversary into its battle plans.
Subrahmanian and his colleagues have developed software tools to extract specific information about violent incidents from various news sources. They then use that information to tease out rules about the enemy's behavior.
For example, an analysis of strikes carried out by Hezbollah, the terrorist group in Lebanon, showed that the group was much more likely to carry out suicide bombings during times when it was not actively engaged in education and propaganda. The insight could potentially help security forces predict and counter suicide attacks.
"This is a very coarse finding, not the last word by any means," cautions Subrahmanian, adding that a lot more data and analysis would be needed to refine that rule as well as come up with other, more useful ones.
Subrahmanian directs the University of Maryland's Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS).
Published April 30, 2007