Database Issues for Intelligence Analysis
CRANFIELD UNIV (UNITED KINGDOM) ROYAL MILITARY COLLEGE OF SCIENCE
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The use of database systems in police investigative work is well established and similar technology will be required to support counter terrorism. A key feature of terrorism is that it is predominantly a group activity. This has important implications for analysing terrorism-related intelligence in that systems must help analysts uncover patterns of activity which may be obscured by being distributed over a network of individuals or organisations. In this paper we argue that the record-oriented representation of data on which most current database technology is based is not well-suited for such applications. Another form of representation, known as graph-based databases, organises information as a network of connected facts and is better suited to supporting queries concerned with finding associations and links between various entities such as people, events, organisations and so forth. We briefly discuss a database system that has been built on top of a graph-oriented representation of data in order to show that such systems are feasible. Furthermore such systems can support a broader range of queries, in particular the kinds of queries that are likely to be required in intelligence analysis.
- Information Science
- Computer Programming and Software
- Computer Systems