SBIR Phase II: Algorithms and Visualization Techniques for the Detection of Geographic Aberrations in Crime (GIS)

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
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Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
340 N 12th St, Suite 402B, Philadelphia, PA, 19107-100
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
M. Cecelia Buchanan
(215) 701-7501
Business Contact:
M. Cecelia Buchanan
(215) 701-7501
Research Institution:
This Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase II project will further develop HunchLab -- software tools that leverage spatial statistics to enable police personnel to test their theories of criminality against data collected in the day-to-day activities of policing. The preceding Phase I project proved the feasibility of developing HunchLab as a set of innovative software tools that scour the historic data of a police department, search for geographic aberrations expected by the theories or 'hunches' put forth by crime analysts, and apply spatial statistics to confirm or deny the supposition. Preventing crime is a more sophisticated task than simply mapping incidents or arrests and deploying resources accordingly. The ability to detect and analyze changes in the geographic patterns of crime and disorder is an innovation in policing which holds the potential to enhance the organizational capacity of police departments across the country. This Phase II project will refine the application and build additional functionality, including alternate workflows for different user types, expanding the alert infrastructure, and building text mining capabilities. The obvious sector that this product will impact is law enforcement at all levels of government. Additionally the successful outcome will impact federal law enforcement agencies and regional crime analysis consortia. There are roughly 250 municipalities with over 100,000 people in them, and these each have police departments that would find this system of use. The tools will be helping thousands of police officers do their jobs better every day. This efficiency will result in better policing, meaning that criminals will be caught more effectively. Criminals cause damage far in excess of the property and medical costs directly attributable to their activity. Perhaps more importantly, the research will form the basis for other products that operate in realms other than law enforcement. The algorithms and technologies developed in the Phase I prototype are transferable to other datasets that demonstrate similar point pattern processes - events with explicit spatial and temporal attributes. Our Phase I process demonstrated a substantial utility in domains other than law enforcement including fraud detection, real estate, sales and public health. The Phase II work plan includes testing with other data sets to refine that software should address these other markets.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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