Research Update - March 2016

The D2D CRC’s research and development activities are progressing well.   Beat The News is developing capability, the Apostle team has zeroed in on some high value use cases for our end users in national security community, particularly the law enforcement agencies, and the Integrated Policing team is just kicking off.  The Law & Policy team continues to progress their current international comparative study project, and refine proposals for the future direction of the program.

Since the last eNews update, the Big Data Reference Architecture project has been completed and the project wrapped up. The Big Data Reference Architecture – essentially a playbook to identify the design challenges and tactics that can be used in big data systems to address the challenges – was developed in collaboration with Software Engineering Institute at  Carnegie Mellon University.  For more information, please contact Ross Buglak.

The Beat the News team continues to develop and evaluate methods for event prediction from open source data. UniSA have been developing techniques to forecast future events based on an understanding of the nature, location and types of events seen in recent past. These methods form the baseline model for Beat the News and will be combined with other models currently under development. The planned protest model sifts through real time data from Twitter, Facebook, news forums etc. to unveil indicators and warnings for pending protests. The University of Adelaide team is ramping up and will initially work to develop topic-based forecasting models, and a technique to combine forecasts from multiple models. Future work will focus on improving the existing models, improving geo-location capabilities, measuring against ground truth data and presenting results in a minimal user interface.

The Apostle team has spent significant time to develop and refine use cases that build on the research and development strengths of the team, and address high priority needs for the end users. The initial working group meeting had great participation from a number of participating agencies. Based on feedback from the working group, the team is now focussed on developing new ways to extract value from online footprints. The team will undertake regular demos as they further develop the initial prototype. The Apostle team has planned visits to several participating agencies to get a firsthand view on the current approaches used.  The Apostleteam is ramping up with job openings available at UNSW, UTS and other research organisations. The initial cadre of PhD students at University of Adelaide is now being complemented with intakes at some of the newer participants.

The Integrated Policing project is now being led by Matt Heather, an investigator seconded from the AFP. The project kicked off in January and will focus on the investigation process – developing a central platform to integrate and analyse data to help the investigator collate and analyse information from a ‘referral to brief’. The concept for this project is now being refined and will be further developed in collaboration with the AFP, AGD and ANZCTC. The project will have a very practical focus; building the “investigator mindset” into platform design.

The Law & Policy team has made great progress on its first project – an international comparative study of law & policy for big data analysis in national security. The Australian chapter of their report is currently under review, and will soon be accompanied by similar reports from Canada and the UK. The consolidated recommendations from these reports will guide the rest of the work in the D2D CRC Law & Policy program. The team is currently soliciting new project proposals and has engaged closely with AGD, AFP, and CRIMTRAC.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Brenton Cooper <[email protected]>