A Tool for Agent-Based System Produced Emergent Networks (ASPEN)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W31P4Q-12-C-0050
Agency Tracking Number: 11SB2-0092
Amount: $98,955.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: SB112-004
Solicitation Number: 2011.2
Solicitation Year: 2011
Award Year: 2011
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2011-11-09
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
625 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA, -
DUNS: 115243701
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Corey Lofdahl
 Senior Scientist
 (617) 491-3474
Business Contact
 Mark Felix
Title: Contracts Manager
Phone: (617) 491-3474
Email: mfelix@cra.com
Research Institution
Social network analysis is a powerful method for making sense of an increasingly interconnected world. Developing social network analysis tools requires datasets with which to test them, but sharing datasets is problematic because of privacy issues. Initial attempts to anonymize network datasets proved ineffective due to de-anonymization attacks that leveraged publically available information to identify individuals. Synthetic datasets provide an alternative, but it is difficult to ensure that a synthetic network is sufficiently similar to a real network for tool development. To address this issue, our system for Agent-Based System Produced Emergent Networks (ASPEN) imbues agents with social and behavioral theories, has them interact in a simulation, and generates a synthetic network from the simulation log. The simulation network is then compared to a real network using network metrics to assess their similarity or fidelity. These metrics are then fed to an evolutionary algorithm (EA) that varies the behavioral inputs to the agent-based simulation to improve the synthetic network"s fidelity. Synthetic networks thus emerge from the behavioral interactions among agents rather than being directly specified.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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