DIMACS Monitoring Message Streams Seminar

Title: Current Challenges in Search and Data Mining: The War on Terror

Speaker: Paul Kantor and William Pottenger, DIMACS

Date: Thursday, December 11, 2008 12:00-1:00pm**

Location: CoRE Bldg, Room 431, Rutgers University, Busch Campus, Piscataway, NJ


**Pizza and opportunites for financial support will be served

There are enormous challenges related to search and data mining that arise in combating terrorist atacks such as the one in Mumbai, and earlier attacks in London, Madrid, Bali and New York. While the user of Google or Yahoo has at least some idea of the "name" of the information sought, finding the activities of terrorists involves looking for something that cannot be described in advance, but "looks out of place". On the other hand, intelligence experts advise that "if you look for odditites, without having a concept of operations for your opponents, you will spend 99.9% of your time harassing innocent people". (The problem of 'False Positives').

We will describe three problems arising in this areas: Massively multivariate polytomous Bayesian regression; Higher Order Path Analysis; and application to Law Enforcement). This research is supported by the US Department of Homeland Security, the IARPA (the intelligence communities (DARPA) and the National Institue of Justice. We have a number of assistantship positions to fill at mid-year, and will talk with interested applicants at the end of the hour.

Paul Kantor is Prof. of Information Science, and a member of DIMACS and RUTCOR, as well as being on the CS Graduate Faculty.

Prof. William M. Pottenger is an associate research professor in Computer Science and at DIMACS. He has an active research program and is currently supervising the research and supporting several CS grad students.