Forging An Anti-Terrorism Search Tool
Researchers at the University of Buffalo have developed a prototype search engine that mines a collection of documents for associated ideas or links that would otherwise be unnoticeable or that would take an extremely long time to uncover via conventional investigative methods.
The technology, which is known as a concept chain graph, finds the optimal path for connecting two different concepts using different mathematical algorithms, and then ranks the connections from strongest to weakest.
The search engine first analyzes a limited set of documents, indexing each document and identifying key concepts along with important ideas related to the intelligence community; the system then maps the links to establish a chain of evidence between a pair of ideas.
Many search engines use hypertext links to forge connections between documents or query terms, but the UB system relies on textual analysis.
The project was partly funded by the National Science Foundation for anti-terrorism purposes, and was first used to mine data within the 9/11 Commission report and public Web pages associated with the terrorist bombings.
The search tool has been developed over the past two years by UB computer science professor Rohini Srihari and her team in the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ Center of Excellence in Document Analysis and Recognition. Srihari says a deliverable system should be ready for the FAA and the intelligence community before 2006.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from CNet (06/02/05); Olsen, Stefanie.