RIP Dennis Lindley

One of the giants in Bayesian statistics passed away at his home earlier this week, coincidentally at the start of the O'Bayes 250 conference marking the 250th anniversary of the publication of Bayes' paper. Writeup in X'ian's 'Og.

Berkshires 2006 Sweep Width Experiment

In the summer of 2006, Rick Toman (Massachusetts State Police) and Dan O'Connor (NewSAR) organized a sweep width experiment and summit called "Detection in the Berkshires" at Mount Greylock in Massachusetts.  In addition to the sweep-width experiment, Perkins & Roberts provided search tactics training for several teams, and the summit provided a chance for us to explore similarities and differences between formal search theory and formalized search tactics.  It was an important the chance to meet many key people, compare notes, and discuss ideas.  I wish I had been more diligent about following up. Many thanks to Rick & Dan for organizing the event, and to many others listed at the end. However, this post is mostly to provide a reference for the sweep width experiment.

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MapScore Updates

The MapScore site has been updated! The most exciting new feature is Batch Upload.

  • Batch Upload!  In one fell swoop, upload and re-score all your models and cases (or as many as necessary).  No more clicking around or messing with “active” vs “inactive” cases.  (Unless you want to...)
MapScore batch upload screen. New Nov. 2013.

MapScore batch upload screen. New Nov. 2013.

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Search Theory in C4ISR Journal

The C4ISR Journal had a recent search theory article quoting me along with Larry Stone.  I'm quite honored, like the British company in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency:

...was the only British software company that could be mentioned in the same sentence as ... Microsoft.... The sentence would probably run along the lines of ‘...unlike ... Microsoft...’ but it was a start.

It's a good article, covering the undeniably exciting historical origins hunting U-boats, and looking at what may be a modern renaissance.  I think the article stretches to connect search theory with Big Data, but the author does note that when the data is visual, and you have humans scanning it for objects, there is a connection.  With planning, it could have been used to prioritize the Amazon Mechanical Turk search for Jim Gray.  (The resolution of the actual images in that search was probably too low regardless, but the core idea was sound.)

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Structured Methods for Intelligence Analysis

My colleagues just published a paper in Euro Journal on Decision Processes, for their special issue on risk management.

Karvetski, C.W, Olson, K.C., Gantz, D.T., Cross, G.A., "Structuring and analyzing competing hypotheses with Bayesian networks for intelligence analysis". EURO Journal on Decision Processes, Special Issue on Risk Management: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40070-013-0001-x

Alas, it's behind a paywall and the printed edition isn't due until Autumn. Here's an excerpt from the abstract:

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Banning et al 2011. Lateral range curve for cluelike objects.

"Small Scatters of Generally Unobtrusive Artifacts"

When searching for an image for this post, I came across several works by E.B. Banning applying search theory to archaeology:

  • Sweep widths and the detection of artifacts in archaeological survey. (2011) [Science Direct]
  • Detection functions for archaeological survey (2006). [JSTOR]
  • Archaeological Survey (2002 book). [Google books]

Now what would archaeologists be doing with sweep widths?  Looking for nails, shards, and other small objects in the soil.  What they nicely call "small scatters of generally unobtrusive artifacts on the surface".

In WiSAR we call them clues.

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