Shyam Sankar proposes looking at the geospatial distribution of significant acts on the map of Baghdad. They investigate the bars on the map indicating the daily acts in April and May 2008 such as: Suicide bombings Mortar attacks Improvised explosive device (IED) detonations
As they go through the timeline they find dense events in Sadr City District. The attacks seem to be correlated over time and space with the construction of this security wall, forming a line. This information is important to predict the insurgents’ next moves.
Sinensky works on a social network with the Naval Postgraduate School that shows the people connected to Noordin Mohammed Top who is Southeast Asia’s most wanted terrorist. The graph represents the suspects’ known communications and relationships, as well as their known involvement with terrorist plots.
Sinensky applies betweenness, centrality, and eigenvector centrality and they see Noordin is the first in the list. How about the second and the third names? After September 11 attacks social networks were used more in the warfare analysis. Some in the U.S. military worries about they put too much faith in it. One former U.S. official claims that they led to unethical practices.
It emerged that the 9/11 attacks were not work of a government but a team of international terrorists: 19 hijackers and dozens of supporters (funding, logistic). The intelligence community was desperate for any help they could get to prevent another attack. Valdis Krebs made a social network from the information on the news: meetings, residences, and financial transections.
Mohammed Atta scored highest on Degrees: Intensity of his activity Closeness: Ability to access others Betweenness: Control over the flow in the network He was the ringleader and a member of Al- Qaeda
By 2003, U.S. defense officials expanded the network by including insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq. The results disappointed Krebs. It didn’t really work to catch the bad guys.
They were good at modeling a static network but this network was highly dynamic. When someone dies or caught, someone else replaced him with own relations. Noise increased as the graph grew. Mathematical analysis was not enough by itself. Social analysis were needed. Pizza delivery guy problem
After bombing in London on July 7, 2005, a report is issued called “Could 7/7 Have Been Prevented?” Using network analysis, the researchers traced the relations between plotters. The result: “A hairball”
Ian McCulloh, a U.S. Army major, proposed a technique called “dynamic metanetwork analysis” which can adapt the change over time. Instead of having a “who” network, different layers storing information about when, what, where and why are needed. Carley, McCulloh’s advisor from the university, developed a computer program (ORA) that finds people who are a threat by using both mathematical and social metrics.
McCulloh and Carley investigated 1500 videos made by insurgents in Iraq. As of March 2006, 3 of 4 U.S. soldier deaths were on tapes. They extracted a big network out of these tapes which is kept as secret. The actions taken according to this network reduced the sniper activities 70% and also reduced the IED deaths.
Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist, doesn’t believe that the network works. According to him, there could be many reasons that the numbers drop. Carley just counters that Sageman doesn’t get the methods. The army established a network science center in Aberdeen, Maryland 2 years ago. This year U.S. Army Research Lab is committing $162 million to research on “network-centric warfare”. Carley is one of the academics applying for funding.