How Computers Can Predict The Next Leader Of Hezbollah

A project at the University of Maryland uses predictive analytics to determine personnel changes at terrorist organizations.

A few years ago, researchers at the University of Maryland designed a computer program that predicts terrorist attacks. Now, the same team has adapted their technology to predict leadership and personnel changes within terrorist and militant organizations.

STONE (Shaping Terrorist Organizational Network Efficacy) is a predictive analytics network mapping tool designed to help counterterrorism analysts and others figure out trends in militant organizations. Project head V.S. Subrahmanian told Federal Computer Week that the software predicts promotions within terrorist groups with an accuracy rate of 80%.

"This is a not a computing tool that tells analysts what to do," Subrahmanian explained in a release. "It is something that can help them better understand the situation or situations they are dealing with, which can ultimately decrease the efficacy of these organizations."

Subrahmanian and his team publicly released findings from STONE yesterday at the Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining conference in Niagara Falls.

[Image: Wikimedia user Eternalsleeper]

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