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The term "hot spot" has been adopted to indicate areas where a greater than average number of historical or anticipated problem events exists. RAND modified existing spatial analysis tools to identify improvised explosive device (IED) hot spots that were constructed to match the scarce resources available to tactical commanders in Iraq. This report details a generalized version of this "actionable hot spot" (AHS) methodology that can be used to select and prioritize resources to be deployed to disorder areas when the policymaker is faced with spatial, temporal, and quantity constraints. The success of the approach is based on the degree to which clustering is present in the historical data and whether available resources can be deployed that will be spatially and temporally matched against the disorder activity. The methodology provides both a means of measuring the expected effectiveness that would result by deploying scarce resources against the problem and a way to compare the potential effectiveness of alternative resources. Case studies describe the application of the AHS methodology to public health screening, piracy in the Gulf of Aden, and fighting neighborhood crime.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Spatially Constrained Hot Spot Identification

  • Chapter Three

    Cluster Point-Sharing

  • Chapter Four

    Hot Spot Prioritization and Performance Measurement

  • Chapter Five

    Case Studies

  • Chapter Six


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