Predictive analytics in situation awareness requires an element to comprehend and anticipate potential adversary activities that might occur in the future. Most work in high level fusion or predictive analytics utilizes machine learning, pattern mining, Bayesian inference, and decision tree techniques to predict future actions or states. The emergence of social computing in broader contexts has drawn interests in bringing the hypotheses and techniques from social theory to algorithmic and computational settings for predictive analytics. This paper aims at answering the question on how influence and attitude (some interpreted such as intent) of adversarial actors can be formulated and computed algorithmically, as a higher level fusion process to provide predictions of future actions.
The challenges in this interdisciplinary endeavor include drawing existing understanding of influence and attitude in both social science and computing fields, as well as the mathematical and computational formulation for the specific context of situation to be analyzed. The study of ‘influence’ has resurfaced in recent years due to the emergence of social networks in the virtualized cyber world. Theoretical analysis and techniques developed in this area are discussed in this paper in the context of predictive analysis. Meanwhile, the notion of intent, or
‘attitude’ using social theory terminologies, is a relatively uncharted area in the computing field. Note that a key objective of predictive analytics is to identify impending/planned attacks so their ‘impact’ and ‘threat’ can be prevented. In this spirit, indirect and direct observables are drawn and derived to infer the influence network and attitude to predict future threats.
This work proposes an integrated framework that jointly assesses adversarial actors’ influence network and their attitudes as a function of past actions and action outcomes. A preliminary set of algorithms are developed and tested using the Global Terrorism Database (GTD). Our results reveals the benefits to perform joint predictive analytics with both attitude and influence. At the same time, we discover significant challenges in deriving influence and attitude from indirect observables for diverse adversarial behavior. These observations warrant further investigation of optimal use of influence and attitude for predictive analytics, as well as the potential inclusion of other environmental or capability elements for the actors.