Signatures of Interacting Groups via Network Attributes Learning (SIGNAL)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: D13PC00035
Agency Tracking Number: D12B-002-0024
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: ST12B-002
Solicitation Number: 2012.B
Small Business Information
Aptima, Inc.
12 Gill Street, Suite 1400, Woburn, MA, -
DUNS: 967259946
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Harold Figueroa
 Principal Investigator
 (781) 496-2467
 georgiy@aptima.com
Business Contact
 Thomas McKenna
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (781) 496-2443
Email: mckenna@aptima.com
Research Institution
 University of Maryland
 Katie McKeon
 3112 Lee Building
College Park, MD, 20742-
 (301) 405-6274
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
The analysis of interactions within social media has received significant attention in recent years with respect to cybercrime prevention, online marketing, counter-espionage, political opinion trending, and intelligence analysis. However, while detailed study of these interactions might lead to powerful insights, the sheer quantity of data generated via social media makes manual analysis infeasible. Current automated methods for profiling actors in on-line environments rely too heavily on the behaviors of those actors alone. Given the function of social networks to foster communities of practice around all types of activitiesincluding anti-social activitiesthe behaviors of groups and dynamics of those behaviors should be leveraged to increase the accuracy of identifying hostile actors. Aptima proposes to develop an automated tool for detecting Signatures of Interacting Groups via Network Attributes Learning (SIGNAL). Our solution combines strong theoretical foundation in social group and role theories with statistical network inference algorithms. When fully developed, SIGNAL will provide intelligence analysts with a powerful analysis tool that (1) contains a theory-grounded library of online behavior patterns; (2) performs learning of group behavior patterns from data; (3) executes efficient queries over large social media datasets to find hidden groups; and (4) provides easy-to-use interactive network inference visualizations.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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