Mathematical Methods in Counterterrorism

pp 253-269

CAPE: Automatically Predicting Changes in Group Behavior

  • Amy SlivaAffiliated withUniversity of Maryland College Park Email author 
  • , V.S. SubrahmanianAffiliated withUniversity of Maryland College Park
  • , Vanina MartinezAffiliated withUniversity of Maryland College Park
  • , Gerardo SimariAffiliated withUniversity of Maryland College Park

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There is now intense interest in the problem of forecasting what a group will do in the future. Past work [1, 2, 3] has built complex models of a group’s behavior and used this to predict what the group might do in the future. However, almost all past work assumes that the group will not change its past behavior. Whether the group is a group of investors, or a political party, or a terror group, there is much interest in when and how the group will change its behavior. In this paper, we develop an architecture and algorithms called CAPE to forecast the conditions under which a group will change its behavior. We have tested CAPE on social science data about the behaviors of seven terrorist groups and show that CAPE is highly accurate in its predictions—at least in this limited setting.