Tag Archives: Data Analysis

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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Syrotuck's Data

Syrotuck's main study is his 1976, with N=242. But he gives much more detail about distance travelled in his 1975 paper, breaking distance down every 0.2 miles. Unfortunately, he only reports probabilities, not numbers, and doesn't even report total N. We know he got more data between 1975 and 1976, but didn't know how much. Is the 1975 breakdown representative of the 1976 data? Unfortunately, no one has Syrotuck's original data. But we re-created it. (Spreadsheets available!)

 

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Australian SAR data

We have been collecting data on land SAR incidents in Australia since 2000. In November 2003 we wrote a draft report that was presented at the NATSAR council but not generally released. It was styled after the U.K. report. In June 2006 we released the final version (see below), which has evolved its own style.

Our data was collected using the form available below (or an earlier version thereof). The form itself helps define what is meant by each term or category, and is essential to interpreting the data. We have also prepared a definition key in the report, to explain our terms more precisely. The UK report gave us the idea, but there are some differences in definition.

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Data Analysis Update

Early 2003: Charles Twardy plans to reanalyze the Virginia data, correcting for some problems in last year's run. In February, we will analyze the Australian data for the draft report.

Dec 2001: In preparation for the Australian data, Adam Golding analyzed the Virginia data. Cluster analysis revealed only 4 or 5 types of lost person, assuming Gaussian (bell-shaped curve) types.

Adam Golding and Luke Hope then tested several machine-learned models, Syrotuck's model, and a simple model estimated by Rik Head. There were strong differences in predictive accuracy, but negligible differences in a more meaningful score, information reward. The most recent presentation of this work was in Charles Twardy's presentation to the NASAR 2002 conference in Charlotte, NC (June 2002).

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Data Collection

Data Collection

11 Dec 2002: We have 271 entries comprising about 200 separate cases from all states except New South Wales (and the Australian Capital Territory). We have sent each state a copy of their data and a request for corrections. We intend to release a draft report at the end of February 2003 summarizing the data. We expect a final report about six months later.

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