Heuristic Modeling Using Rule-Based Computer Systems

by D. A. Waterman, Brian Michael Jenkins

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Abstract

Discusses a recent effort to apply heuristic modeling techniques to the topic of international terrorism. By heuristic model is meant an information processing model described in terms of heuristics (rules of thumb) which define the operation of the model. This project is designed to provide researchers with a tool in the form of computer programs to aid them in analysis of terrorist activities. As a first attempt the basic concepts needed for a model of terrorism are defined and used in the implementation of a program that extracts information about terrorist activities from an analyst and represents it in a form facilitating machine analysis. This analysis consists of applying rules to the data extracted from the analyst in order to infer new data. The exercise of extracting information from an analyst in terms of precisely defined concepts not only sharpens the analyst's skills but also provides a basis for constructing programs to process the information.

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