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An Outlier-Based Intention Detection for Discovering Terrorist Strategies

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Terrorist groups (attackers) always strive to outmaneuver counter-terrorism agencies with different tactics and strategies for making successful attacks. Therefore, understanding unexpected attacks (outliers) is becoming more and more important. Studying such attacks will help identify the strategies from past events that will be most dangerous when counter-terrorism agencies are not ready for protection interventions. In this paper, we propose a new approach that defines terrorism outliers in the current location by using non-similarities among attacks to identify unexpected interactions. The approach is used to determine possible outliers in future attacks by analyzing the relationships among past events. In this approach, we calculate the relationship between selected features based on a proposed similarity measure that uses both categorical and numerical features of terrorism activities. Therefore, extracting relations are used to build the terrorism network for finding outliers. Experimental results showed that the comparison of actual events and the detected patterns match with more than 90% accuracy for many future strategies. Based on the properties of the outliers, counter-terrorism agencies can prevent a future bombing attack on strategic locations.
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Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
1877-0509 © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Peer-review under responsibility of the scientific committee of the Complex Adaptive Systems Conference with Theme:
Engineering Cyber Physical Systems.
10.1016/j.procs.2017.09.006
ScienceDirect
Procedia Computer Science 114 (2017) 132–138
10.1016/j.procs.2017.09.006 1877-0509
Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
ScienceDirect
Procedia Computer Science 00 (2017) 000–000
w
ww.elsevier.com/locate/procedia
1877-0509© 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Peer-review under responsibility of the scientific committee of the Complex Adaptive Systems Conference with Theme:
Engineering Cyber Physical Systems.
Complex Adaptive Systems Conference with Theme: Engineering Cyber Physical Systems, CAS
October 30 – November 1, 2017, Chicago, Illinois, USA
An Outlier-Based Intention Detection for Discovering
Terrorist Strategies
Salih Tutuna,*, Murat Akçab, Ömer Bıyıklıb, Mohammad T. Khasawneha
aDepartment of Systems Science and Industrial Engineering, Binghamton University, New York, 13850, USA
bDepartment of Industrial Engineering, Gazi University, Ankara, 06420, Turkey
Abstract
Terrorist groups (attackers) always strive to outmaneuver counter-terrorism agencies with different tactics and strategies for
making successful attacks. Therefore, understanding unexpected attacks (outliers) is becoming more and more important.
Studying such attacks will help identify the strategies from past events that will be most dangerous when counter-terrorism
agencies are not ready for protection interventions. In this paper, we propose a new approach that defines terrorism outliers in the
current location by using non-similarities among attacks to identify unexpected interactions. The approach is used to determine
possible outliers in future attacks by analyzing the relationships among past events. In this approach, we calculate the relationship
between selected features based on a proposed similarity measure that uses both categorical and numerical features of terrorism
activities. Therefore, extracting relations are used to build the terrorism network for finding outliers. Experimental results showed
that the comparison of actual events and the detected patterns match with more than 90% accuracy for many future strategies.
Based on the properties of the outliers, counter-terrorism agencies can prevent a future bombing attack on strategic locations.
© 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Peer-review under responsibility of the scientific committee of the Complex Adaptive Systems Conference with Theme:
Engineering Cyber Physical Systems.
Keywords: Outlier Detection; Similarity Function; Link Formation; Network Analysis; Counter-terrorism
* Corresponding author.
E-mail address: stutun1@binghamton.edu
Salih Tutun, Murat Akça, Ömer Bıyıklı, Mohammad Khasawneh / Procedia Computer Science 00 (2017) 000–000
1. Introduction
Terrorism is a new kind of war that is increasingly characterized with uncertainty. In this war, terrorist groups
(attackers) often change their strategies in an effort to surprise and shock defenders (counter-terrorism agencies) for
more successful attacks. Defenders are always under pressure to learn new strategies in order to have a strong
counter-terrorism strategy [1]. Moreover, terrorism has significantly increased after the September 11 attack because
the uncertainties associated with such events make their prevention a very complex effort to manage [2]. Defenders
need to know how to create strategies to prevent this kind of attacks, and they need to adopt more accurate
approaches to investigate terrorist activities [3]. Intelligence gathering is the cornerstone through which uncertainty
is reduced.
Current literature suggests that terrorism has an evolutionary nature and attackers change their behavior
according to defenders’ counter-terrorism policies. The behavior of attackers evolves over time, and they often copy
the behavior of other attacks [4]. For instance, each attacker learns tactics from past attacks whether they were
successful or not. After learning certain tactics, they seek to shock defenders through attacks that are unexpected
when compared with past events. Only when defenders have the ability to predict unexpected future events is the
prevention of terrorism plausible.
In the literature for understanding strategies of terrorism, network-based approaches are used to understand
complex interactions [5, 6]. These approaches are becoming increasingly popular [7] because they are proving to be
effective methods for understanding terrorism [8]. Moreover, many researchers have studied the behavior of people
(attackers) to find the leader of attackers (with their leader). Therefore, existing network-based approaches in the
literature focused on prosecution instead of prevention [9, 10]. In this research, we focus on the finding relationships
between different attacks instead of connections and relationships between people [11].
This research aims to propose a new approach by analyzing relations of attacks to develop predictive capabilities.
The network of attacks is modeled in the approach to understand future strategies. More specifically, a new outlier-
based similarity function is proposed to find relations that will help construct a network for events. Furthermore, this
similarity function is used to estimate relationships among interactive events by using non-similar attacks [11, 12].
This method extracts attacker interaction from network properties to obtain a better understanding of the attacker
activity. The results could potentially help in the understanding of future attacks and enable counter-terrorism
agencies to propose proactive strategies [11, 13].
The remainder of the paper is organized as follows. In Section 2, data analysis and collection are explained, and
the methods used in the new approach are presented. A detailed description of how the proposed approach is used to
understand complex interactions is also presented. In Section 3, experimental results that show the proposed
approach works to understand attacker activities efficiently are presented. Finally, Section 4 presents a discussion to
highlight the improvement in modeling terrorism and the contribution of the research.
2. Materials and Methods
Terrorist attacks listed in the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) are used in this research. The data includes
various events between 1970 and 2015 [2]. The data is prepared by removing missing values and incorrect events.
The following section provides details of the proposed approach. Moreover, bombing (with explosives weapons)
attacks, as seen in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2, are used against defenders’ agencies (e.g., Military, Police, etc.). This type of
attack was chosen because they constitute half of all attacks [11].
In the collected dataset, the variable names are explained as follows: Extended incident (extended) is defined as
yes (1) if there is an extension for more than 24 hours or no (0). Doubt of terrorism proper (doubtterr) is defined as
yes (1) or no (0). Part of multiple incidents (multiple) is determined as yes (1) or no (0). Location of events is
defined using countries, regions, state, and city. Vicinity (vicinity) is used as yes (1) if the event happens near the
city or no (0) if it is in the city center. Specificity is determined at the geospatial resolution of the latitude and
longitude areas with five different categories. Attack type (attackttype1)is defined as a Bombing/Explosion attack.
Successful Attack (success) is defined based on whether the event is successful (1) or not (0). Weapon type
(weaptype1) is defined as which weapons are used for attacks. Target type (targettype1) is determined by which
targets the attackers pursue. The number of killings (nkill) means the number of people killed in the attack. Hostage
Salih Tutun et al. / Procedia Computer Science 114 (2017) 132–138 133
Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
ScienceDirect
Procedia Computer Science 00 (2017) 000–000
w
ww.elsevier.com/locate/procedia
1877-0509© 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Peer-review under responsibility of the scientific committee of the Complex Adaptive Systems Conference with Theme:
Engineering Cyber Physical Systems.
Complex Adaptive Systems Conference with Theme: Engineering Cyber Physical Systems, CAS
October 30 – November 1, 2017, Chicago, Illinois, USA
An Outlier-Based Intention Detection for Discovering
Terrorist Strategies
Salih Tutuna,*, Murat Akçab, Ömer Bıyıklıb, Mohammad T. Khasawneha
aDepartment of Systems Science and Industrial Engineering, Binghamton University, New York, 13850, USA
bDepartment of Industrial Engineering, Gazi University, Ankara, 06420, Turkey
Abstract
Terrorist groups (attackers) always strive to outmaneuver counter-terrorism agencies with different tactics and strategies for
making successful attacks. Therefore, understanding unexpected attacks (outliers) is becoming more and more important.
Studying such attacks will help identify the strategies from past events that will be most dangerous when counter-terrorism
agencies are not ready for protection interventions. In this paper, we propose a new approach that defines terrorism outliers in the
current location by using non-similarities among attacks to identify unexpected interactions. The approach is used to determine
possible outliers in future attacks by analyzing the relationships among past events. In this approach, we calculate the relationship
between selected features based on a proposed similarity measure that uses both categorical and numerical features of terrorism
activities. Therefore, extracting relations are used to build the terrorism network for finding outliers. Experimental results showed
that the comparison of actual events and the detected patterns match with more than 90% accuracy for many future strategies.
Based on the properties of the outliers, counter-terrorism agencies can prevent a future bombing attack on strategic locations.
© 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Peer-review under responsibility of the scientific committee of the Complex Adaptive Systems Conference with Theme:
Engineering Cyber Physical Systems.
Keywords: Outlier Detection; Similarity Function; Link Formation; Network Analysis; Counter-terrorism
* Corresponding author.
E-mail address: stutun1@binghamton.edu
Salih Tutun, Murat Akça, Ömer Bıyıklı, Mohammad Khasawneh / Procedia Computer Science 00 (2017) 000–000
1. Introduction
Terrorism is a new kind of war that is increasingly characterized with uncertainty. In this war, terrorist groups
(attackers) often change their strategies in an effort to surprise and shock defenders (counter-terrorism agencies) for
more successful attacks. Defenders are always under pressure to learn new strategies in order to have a strong
counter-terrorism strategy [1]. Moreover, terrorism has significantly increased after the September 11 attack because
the uncertainties associated with such events make their prevention a very complex effort to manage [2]. Defenders
need to know how to create strategies to prevent this kind of attacks, and they need to adopt more accurate
approaches to investigate terrorist activities [3]. Intelligence gathering is the cornerstone through which uncertainty
is reduced.
Current literature suggests that terrorism has an evolutionary nature and attackers change their behavior
according to defenders’ counter-terrorism policies. The behavior of attackers evolves over time, and they often copy
the behavior of other attacks [4]. For instance, each attacker learns tactics from past attacks whether they were
successful or not. After learning certain tactics, they seek to shock defenders through attacks that are unexpected
when compared with past events. Only when defenders have the ability to predict unexpected future events is the
prevention of terrorism plausible.
In the literature for understanding strategies of terrorism, network-based approaches are used to understand
complex interactions [5, 6]. These approaches are becoming increasingly popular [7] because they are proving to be
effective methods for understanding terrorism [8]. Moreover, many researchers have studied the behavior of people
(attackers) to find the leader of attackers (with their leader). Therefore, existing network-based approaches in the
literature focused on prosecution instead of prevention [9, 10]. In this research, we focus on the finding relationships
between different attacks instead of connections and relationships between people [11].
This research aims to propose a new approach by analyzing relations of attacks to develop predictive capabilities.
The network of attacks is modeled in the approach to understand future strategies. More specifically, a new outlier-
based similarity function is proposed to find relations that will help construct a network for events. Furthermore, this
similarity function is used to estimate relationships among interactive events by using non-similar attacks [11, 12].
This method extracts attacker interaction from network properties to obtain a better understanding of the attacker
activity. The results could potentially help in the understanding of future attacks and enable counter-terrorism
agencies to propose proactive strategies [11, 13].
The remainder of the paper is organized as follows. In Section 2, data analysis and collection are explained, and
the methods used in the new approach are presented. A detailed description of how the proposed approach is used to
understand complex interactions is also presented. In Section 3, experimental results that show the proposed
approach works to understand attacker activities efficiently are presented. Finally, Section 4 presents a discussion to
highlight the improvement in modeling terrorism and the contribution of the research.
2. Materials and Methods
Terrorist attacks listed in the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) are used in this research. The data includes
various events between 1970 and 2015 [2]. The data is prepared by removing missing values and incorrect events.
The following section provides details of the proposed approach. Moreover, bombing (with explosives weapons)
attacks, as seen in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2, are used against defenders’ agencies (e.g., Military, Police, etc.). This type of
attack was chosen because they constitute half of all attacks [11].
In the collected dataset, the variable names are explained as follows: Extended incident (extended) is defined as
yes (1) if there is an extension for more than 24 hours or no (0). Doubt of terrorism proper (doubtterr) is defined as
yes (1) or no (0). Part of multiple incidents (multiple) is determined as yes (1) or no (0). Location of events is
defined using countries, regions, state, and city. Vicinity (vicinity) is used as yes (1) if the event happens near the
city or no (0) if it is in the city center. Specificity is determined at the geospatial resolution of the latitude and
longitude areas with five different categories. Attack type (attackttype1)is defined as a Bombing/Explosion attack.
Successful Attack (success) is defined based on whether the event is successful (1) or not (0). Weapon type
(weaptype1) is defined as which weapons are used for attacks. Target type (targettype1) is determined by which
targets the attackers pursue. The number of killings (nkill) means the number of people killed in the attack. Hostage
134 Salih Tutun et al. / Procedia Computer Science 114 (2017) 132–138
Salih Tutun, Murat Akça, Ömer Bıyıklı, Mohammad Khasawneh / Procedia Computer Science 00 (2017) 000–000
victims (ishostkid) is defined that the victim was taken a hostage or not. International (int-log) means that the attack
was international or domestic [2]. As seen in Fig. 1, half of all attacks based on the dataset are of the bombing and
explosion category. Moreover, 40% of all attacks used explosive weapons (as seen in Fig. 2). Therefore, this paper
focuses on these attacks to implement the proposed approach.
Fig. 1. Attack types for collected data.
Fig. 2. Weapon types for collected data.
As seen in Fig. 3, there are interactions among attacks. The similarity function can be proposed to capture these
complex interactions. This research explores the opportunities for the application of network analytic techniques to
make precautions before attacks. Similarity function can be used to measure non-similarities (links) to form relations
between nodes. However, computing categorical features is not straightforward because there is no explicit ordering
among categorical variables. A new data-driven heterogeneous similarity function is proposed to solve this problem.
Salih Tutun, Murat Akça, Ömer Bıyıklı, Mohammad Khasawneh / Procedia Computer Science 00 (2017) 000–000
Fig. 3. Interactions and learning among terrorist attacks.
Table 1.Explanation of the data with formulas.
Attributes ID A1 A
2 A
3 Ad
n1 x
11 x
12 x
13 x1d
n2 x
21 x
22 x
23 x2d
n3 x
31 x
32 x
33 x3d
. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .
nN x
N1 x
N2 x
N3 Xnd
Frequency f1(x) f2(x) f3(x) fn(x)
For an overlap measure between categorical data, we define the notations (as seen in Table 1) as categorical
dataset ܦ that contains ܰ objects. This dataset has ݀ categorical features and continuous features where Ah denotes
the hth feature. Let the feature Ah take nh values in the dataset ܦ.
),...,4,3,2,1(
)(
)( dh
N
xf
xP h
h (1)
The following notations are used. The frequency of values is defined as the number of times that feature Ah taking
the value ݔ in the ܦdataset (Note: if x not in Ah, fh(x) = 0), and Ph(x) (as seen in Eq. (1)). The sample probability of
feature Ah takes value ݔ in ܦ dataset, as seen in above matrix [12]. The similarity value between X and Y (see Eq.
(2)) that belongs to the dataset ܦ is calculated as follows:
otherwise
featureslcategoricaasYXifxP
chhh
h0
)(


otherwiseXY
featurescontinuousasYXifYX
n
hh
hhhh
h
/
/
   
d
h
hh
norcYXNS
1
2
1,
(2)
Salih Tutun et al. / Procedia Computer Science 114 (2017) 132–138 135
Salih Tutun, Murat Akça, Ömer Bıyıklı, Mohammad Khasawneh / Procedia Computer Science 00 (2017) 000–000
victims (ishostkid) is defined that the victim was taken a hostage or not. International (int-log) means that the attack
was international or domestic [2]. As seen in Fig. 1, half of all attacks based on the dataset are of the bombing and
explosion category. Moreover, 40% of all attacks used explosive weapons (as seen in Fig. 2). Therefore, this paper
focuses on these attacks to implement the proposed approach.
Fig. 1. Attack types for collected data.
Fig. 2. Weapon types for collected data.
As seen in Fig. 3, there are interactions among attacks. The similarity function can be proposed to capture these
complex interactions. This research explores the opportunities for the application of network analytic techniques to
make precautions before attacks. Similarity function can be used to measure non-similarities (links) to form relations
between nodes. However, computing categorical features is not straightforward because there is no explicit ordering
among categorical variables. A new data-driven heterogeneous similarity function is proposed to solve this problem.
Salih Tutun, Murat Akça, Ömer Bıyıklı, Mohammad Khasawneh / Procedia Computer Science 00 (2017) 000–000
Fig. 3. Interactions and learning among terrorist attacks.
Table 1.Explanation of the data with formulas.
Attributes ID A1 A
2 A
3 Ad
n1 x
11 x
12 x
13 x1d
n2 x
21 x
22 x
23 x2d
n3 x
31 x
32 x
33 x3d
. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .
nN x
N1 x
N2 x
N3 Xnd
Frequency f1(x) f2(x) f3(x) fn(x)
For an overlap measure between categorical data, we define the notations (as seen in Table 1) as categorical
dataset ܦ that contains ܰ objects. This dataset has ݀ categorical features and continuous features where Ah denotes
the hth feature. Let the feature Ah take nh values in the dataset ܦ.
),...,4,3,2,1(
)(
)( dh
N
xf
xP h
h (1)
The following notations are used. The frequency of values is defined as the number of times that feature Ah taking
the value ݔ in the ܦdataset (Note: if x not in Ah, fh(x) = 0), and Ph(x) (as seen in Eq. (1)). The sample probability of
feature Ah takes value ݔ in ܦ dataset, as seen in above matrix [12]. The similarity value between X and Y (see Eq.
(2)) that belongs to the dataset ܦ is calculated as follows:
otherwise
featureslcategoricaasYXifxP
chhh
h0
)(


otherwiseXY
featurescontinuousasYXifYX
n
hh
hhhh
h
/
/
   
d
h
hh
norcYXNS
1
2
1,
(2)
136 Salih Tutun et al. / Procedia Computer Science 114 (2017) 132–138
Salih Tutun, Murat Akça, Ömer Bıyıklı, Mohammad Khasawneh / Procedia Computer Science 00 (2017) 000–000
where NS(X,Y) is the non-similarity between two events. This value is used to define relations between events in
networks.
3. Defining Outliers (Unexpected Events) for Future Threats
In this section, we look at the non-similarity for the events because attackers will always change strategies. As
seen in Fig. 4, outliers are changing dynamically based on the past attacks. In Fig. 4, some events are not in the
center because they are not similar to others. At the same time, we observed these events dynamically to understand
unexpected behaviors. As a result, Events 57, 16, 12 are the most unused events for first 100 events. After that,
Event 52 is added when 200 events are examined. Events 133, 64 are found for the next 100 events. As a conclusion,
Events 57, 52, 16, 12, 133 are outliers for future behaviors.
Fig. 4. Defining outliers for future attacks.
As seen in Table 2, we calculated the similarity of outlier attacks for the next 100 attacks with high accuracy.
Therefore, we can understand outlier behaviors for future attacks. As a result, based on the non-similar relations, we
can find outlier behaviors for future attacks. When defenders focus on these actions, they can understand which
behaviors are unused and have a high potential for occurrence in the future.
Table 2.Accuracies (%) of occurrence for future attacks.
extended country Region specificity vicinity crit3
0.97% 0.92% 0.95% 0.97% 0.93% 0.98%
doubtterr multiple attacktype1 targtype1 guncertain1
0.74% 0.86% 0.96% 0.62% 0.94%
weaptype1 property Ishostkid int-log nkill success
0.98% 0.98% 0.99% 0.99% 0.88% 0.97%
Salih Tutun, Murat Akça, Ömer Bıyıklı, Mohammad Khasawneh / Procedia Computer Science 00 (2017) 000–000
Fig. 5. Defining the most important outliers for future attacks.
Furthermore, some events when followed all past attacks, are found as the most non-similar for using future events.
As seen in Fig.5, Event 57 and Event 133 have successful strategies in the past attacks. Once attackers used these
strategies, they will shock defenders with successful attacks. In order to control attackers, defenders need to analyze
these events deeply. They also continue to search other events dynamically. In this way, attackers can be controlled
to prevent the most dangerous attacks.
4. Conclusions
Nowadays, counter-terrorism agencies need to develop better defense strategies to combat the attackers’ tactics.
This research proposes a new approach based on a similarity function. More specifically, a heterogeneous similarity
function is proposed to analyze relationships between interactive events to understand how attackers seek to surprise
defenders. At the same time, the proposed network approach is different because it uses attackers (as events) instead
of people.
The proposed approach proves its usefulness due to the use of the proposed similarity function. We show that
attacks can be prevented by learning from outlier behavior of attacks. The results prove that we can understand
outlier behaviors for bombing attacks by finding patterns. The patterns identified with more than 90% accuracy show
that the framework can be used to understand future attacks.
In future work, larger dynamic networks could be used to discover the patterns as a big data project for future
events. Moreover, people could study a unified approach that applies pattern classification techniques to the
proposed network topology to improve detection accuracy. Based on the proposed network, pattern recognition
methods could be used to detect terrorism events. Also, conditional probability can be used to understand which
event could lead to a future event. At the same time, the framework can be implemented in other application areas if
they have interactions among terrorism-related observations for detection.
In conclusion, defenders can deter threats by using this approach. They can understand how terrorism will impact
future events, and governments can control attackers' behaviors to reduce the risk of future events. After attacks
occur, the defenders can understand differences between attacks. The proposed approach enables policy makers to
develop precise global and/or local counter-terrorism strategies. Furthermore, this information can be extremely
useful for law enforcement agencies, which allows them to propose timely reactive strategies.
References
[1] Byman, Daniel, and Jeremy Shapiro. (2014). "We Shouldn’t Stop Terrorists from Tweeting.” The Washington Post 9.
[2] National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). (2015) "Global terrorism database."
http://www.start.umd.edu/gtd.
Salih Tutun et al. / Procedia Computer Science 114 (2017) 132–138 137
Salih Tutun, Murat Akça, Ömer Bıyıklı, Mohammad Khasawneh / Procedia Computer Science 00 (2017) 000–000
where NS(X,Y) is the non-similarity between two events. This value is used to define relations between events in
networks.
3. Defining Outliers (Unexpected Events) for Future Threats
In this section, we look at the non-similarity for the events because attackers will always change strategies. As
seen in Fig. 4, outliers are changing dynamically based on the past attacks. In Fig. 4, some events are not in the
center because they are not similar to others. At the same time, we observed these events dynamically to understand
unexpected behaviors. As a result, Events 57, 16, 12 are the most unused events for first 100 events. After that,
Event 52 is added when 200 events are examined. Events 133, 64 are found for the next 100 events. As a conclusion,
Events 57, 52, 16, 12, 133 are outliers for future behaviors.
Fig. 4. Defining outliers for future attacks.
As seen in Table 2, we calculated the similarity of outlier attacks for the next 100 attacks with high accuracy.
Therefore, we can understand outlier behaviors for future attacks. As a result, based on the non-similar relations, we
can find outlier behaviors for future attacks. When defenders focus on these actions, they can understand which
behaviors are unused and have a high potential for occurrence in the future.
Table 2.Accuracies (%) of occurrence for future attacks.
extended country Region specificity vicinity crit3
0.97% 0.92% 0.95% 0.97% 0.93% 0.98%
doubtterr multiple attacktype1 targtype1 guncertain1
0.74% 0.86% 0.96% 0.62% 0.94%
weaptype1 property Ishostkid int-log nkill success
0.98% 0.98% 0.99% 0.99% 0.88% 0.97%
Salih Tutun, Murat Akça, Ömer Bıyıklı, Mohammad Khasawneh / Procedia Computer Science 00 (2017) 000–000
Fig. 5. Defining the most important outliers for future attacks.
Furthermore, some events when followed all past attacks, are found as the most non-similar for using future events.
As seen in Fig.5, Event 57 and Event 133 have successful strategies in the past attacks. Once attackers used these
strategies, they will shock defenders with successful attacks. In order to control attackers, defenders need to analyze
these events deeply. They also continue to search other events dynamically. In this way, attackers can be controlled
to prevent the most dangerous attacks.
4. Conclusions
Nowadays, counter-terrorism agencies need to develop better defense strategies to combat the attackers’ tactics.
This research proposes a new approach based on a similarity function. More specifically, a heterogeneous similarity
function is proposed to analyze relationships between interactive events to understand how attackers seek to surprise
defenders. At the same time, the proposed network approach is different because it uses attackers (as events) instead
of people.
The proposed approach proves its usefulness due to the use of the proposed similarity function. We show that
attacks can be prevented by learning from outlier behavior of attacks. The results prove that we can understand
outlier behaviors for bombing attacks by finding patterns. The patterns identified with more than 90% accuracy show
that the framework can be used to understand future attacks.
In future work, larger dynamic networks could be used to discover the patterns as a big data project for future
events. Moreover, people could study a unified approach that applies pattern classification techniques to the
proposed network topology to improve detection accuracy. Based on the proposed network, pattern recognition
methods could be used to detect terrorism events. Also, conditional probability can be used to understand which
event could lead to a future event. At the same time, the framework can be implemented in other application areas if
they have interactions among terrorism-related observations for detection.
In conclusion, defenders can deter threats by using this approach. They can understand how terrorism will impact
future events, and governments can control attackers' behaviors to reduce the risk of future events. After attacks
occur, the defenders can understand differences between attacks. The proposed approach enables policy makers to
develop precise global and/or local counter-terrorism strategies. Furthermore, this information can be extremely
useful for law enforcement agencies, which allows them to propose timely reactive strategies.
References
[1] Byman, Daniel, and Jeremy Shapiro. (2014). "We Shouldn’t Stop Terrorists from Tweeting.” The Washington Post 9.
[2] National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). (2015) "Global terrorism database."
http://www.start.umd.edu/gtd.
138 Salih Tutun et al. / Procedia Computer Science 114 (2017) 132–138
Salih Tutun, Murat Akça, Ömer Bıyıklı, Mohammad Khasawneh / Procedia Computer Science 00 (2017) 000–000
[3] Jackson, Brian A., and David R. Frelinger. (2009) "Understanding why terrorist operations succeed or fail." RAND CORP ARLINGTON
VA.
[4] Chenoweth, Erica, and Elizabeth Lowham. (2007) "On classifying terrorism: A potential contribution of cluster analysis for academics and
policy-makers." Defence& Security Analysis 23(4): 345-357.
[5] Chen, Hsinchun. (2011) "Dark web: Exploring and data mining the dark side of the web (Vol. 30)."Springer Science & Business Media.
[6] Netzer, Michael, Karl G. Kugler, Laurin AJ Müller, Klaus M. Weinberger, Armin Graber, Christian Baumgartner, and Matthias Dehmer
(2012) "A network-based feature selection approach to identify metabolic signatures in disease."Journal of theoretical biology 310: 216-222.
[7] Coffman, Thayne R., and Sherry E. Marcus. (2004) "Dynamic classification of groups through social network analysis and HMMs". In
Aerospace Conference, 2004. Proceedings. IEEE (Vol. 5, pp. 3197-3205).
[8] Bohannon, John (2009) "Counterterrorism's new tool: ‘metanetwork’ analysis." http://science.sciencemag.org/content/325/5939/409
[9] Xu, Jennifer J., and Hsinchun Chen. (2005) "CrimeNet explorer: a framework for criminal network knowledge discovery."ACM
Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS)23(2): 201-226.
[10] Krebs, Valdis E. (2002) "Mapping networks of terrorist cells."Connections 24 (3):43-52.
[11] Tutun, Salih, Mohammad T. Khasawneh, and Jun Zhuang. (2017) "New framework that uses patterns and relations to understand terrorist
behaviors."Expert Systems with Applications 78: 358-375.
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[13] Li, Ben-xian, Jun-fang Zhu, and Shun-guo Wang. (2015) "Networks model of the East Turkistan terrorism." Physica A: Statistical
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... Tutun et al. [31] identified unexpected interactions through using non-similarities among attacks. The approach was used to find the possible outlier by analyzing the past strategies used in the events. ...
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NewsA decade ago, most research on social networks was abstract and academic. But in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks, interest in applying this research to warfare exploded. Many companies are now vying for a piece of the military funding. Academic network scientists are also diving in, competing for lucrative U.S. military contracts and grants. In spite of the boom, there is sharp disagreement about how effective social network analysis has been for counterterrorism. Some worry that in the rush to catch terrorists, the U.S. military has put too much faith in social network analysis. One former U.S. official even claims that applying these methods in war zones has led to unethical practices ([see sidebar][1]). [1]: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/325/5939/410