Building A Preliminary Prototype Terrorist Analysis System
with Privacy Protection

Principal Investigator: Jun Zhang
Graduate Research Assistant: Shuting Xu

Funding Sources: Kentucky New Economy Safety and Security Initiative (NESSI) Cponsortium
Funding Program: Emerging Ideas
Program Manager: Dr. Pam Collins
Contract Number:
Estimated Budget: $29,294
Duration: 08/16/2004 - 08/15/2005 (12 months)


Detecting terrorist groups from vast population without too many false positives is a challenging task for computer scientists. The sheer amounts of data and the high dimensionality of attributes to be analyzed make such a task algorithmically difficult and computationally intensive. An important aspect of terrorist detection models is the ability to detect small scale local correlations against a background of large-scale diffuse correlations.

Newly developed data mining techniques based on matrix decompositions look into subclusters within larger clusters, and transform correlation into other properties that may be distinguished more easily. Widely used spectral analysis techniques in data mining, such as the singular value decomposition (SVD), can transform correlation relationships into regions of increased proximity in lower dimensions.

Privacy is one of the major concerns in many data mining techniques. We will construct a preliminary prototype terrorist analysis system with privacy protection, by taking advantage of SVD. Only the data owners or the authorized users can access to the original data. The analysis is done on the transformed datasets.

Taking advantages of our experience and expertise in data mining, information retrieval, and matrix computation, we will develop application specific data mining techniques and software that can be used to detect local correlations. Due to the inherent difficulty and complexity of this work, and the sensitivity of data privacy, following the standard practice in this domain of research, we will generate artificial datasets to test our techniques and software. This work is an effort to meet the President's definition of homeland security, i.e., a concerted effort to prevent terrorist attack within the United States, and to reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism.

Technical Reports and Computer Software:
  1. Data distortation for privacy protection in a terrorist analysis system, by Shuting Xu, Jun Zhang, Dianwei Han, and Jie Wang. (February, 2005).
Conference and Seminar Presentations:
  1. Data distortation for privacy protection in a terrorist analysis system, presented by Jun Zhang at the 2005 IEEE International Conference on Intelligence and Security Informatics, Atlanta, GA, May 19-20, 2005.

This page is supported by the Kentucky Kentucky New Economy Safety and Security Initiative (NESSI) Consortium. However, any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this documents are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Kentucky Kentucky New Economy Safety and Security Initiative (NESSI) Consortium.

Go back to Funded Research Projects page.

This page was created on Monday, August 16, 2004, by
Jun Zhang
Last modified on Wednesday, May 25, 2005.