FACETS: Forecasting Activities through Cultural, Epidemiological, and Temporal Semantics

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-12-C-0060
Agency Tracking Number: O2-1109
Amount: $746,088.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: OSD09-HS3
Solicitation Number: 2009.2
Small Business Information
12 Gill Street, Suite 1400, Woburn, MA, -
DUNS: 967259946
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert McCormack
 Applied Mathematician
 (781) 496-2476
 rmccormack@aptima.com
Business Contact
 Thomas McKenna
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (781) 496-2443
Email: mckenna@aptima.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
A central challenge for U.S. forces is anticipating how foreign populations may respond to activities or incidents (e.g., military actions, natural disaster, psychological operations campaigns). Unfortunately, natural changes of attitudes and opinions within a particular population complicate our efforts to assess their opinions and possible reactions to different courses of action. To address this difficulty, Aptima proposes to develop FACETS (Forecasting Activities through Cultural, Epidemiological, and Temporal Semantics). FACETS will provide military planners the capability to forecast shifts in opinion over time within a population of interest. These types of tools have traditionally relied on surveys and censuses, which are accurate but costly, time-consuming, and time sensitive. To compensate for these shortcomings, Aptima will apply natural language processing techniques to extract relevant events, topics, and opinions from population-authored data (e.g., internet news, blogs, and social media). These data will then be used to simulate reactions to current events within the agent-based model, thereby extending the useful life of survey-based analyses. FACETS will then incorporate the mathematics of epidemiology to determine how information spreads within the population. Aptima"s approach takes advantage of often under-utilized data sources to more accurately and efficiently determine whether we are winning the battle of"hearts and minds."

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

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