Shaping Operations to Attack Robust Terror Networks
MILITARY ACADEMY WEST POINT NY NETWORK SCIENCE CENTER (NSC)
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Security organizations often attempt to disrupt terror or insurgent networks by targeting high value targets HVTs. However, there have been numerous examples that illustrate how such networks are able to quickly re-generate leadership after such an operation. Here, we introduce the notion of a shaping operation in which the terrorist network is first targeted for the purpose of reducing its leadership re-generation ability before targeting HVTs. We look to conduct shaping by maximizing the network-wide degree centrality through node removal. We formally define this problem and prove solving it is NP-Complete. We introduce a mixed integer-linear program that solves this problem exactly as well as a greedy heuristic for more practical use. We implement the greedy heuristic and found in examining five real-world terrorist networks that removing only 12 of nodes can increase the network-wide centrality between 17 and 45. We also show our algorithm can scale to large social networks of 1,133 nodes and 5,541 edges on commodity hardware.
- Operations Research
- Unconventional Warfare