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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

    Introduction

  • 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

    Implications

This technical report is a product of the RAND Corporation's continuing program of self-initiated independent research. Support for such research is provided, in part, by donors and by the independent research and development provisions of RAND's contracts for the operation of its U.S. Department of Defense federally funded research and development centers.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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