US Navy Enlists Charles River Analytics to Detect Bot Activity in Social Media

Charles River Analytics Inc., developer of intelligent systems solutions, has announced a contract on social media analysis for the US Navy. The two-year, follow-on contract for a Composable Hybrid Approach to Recognizing Bots and their Influence in Social Media Analysis (CHARISMA) was awarded by the Office for Naval Research, and is valued close to $750,000, with an option worth $1.25 million.

“Social media has changed the way we communicate by providing cheap and efficient networks for spreading messages quickly and widely,” said Bruce Skarin, Scientist at Charles River and Principal Investigator on the CHARISMA effort. “Unfortunately, these networks also have vulnerabilities that can be exploited using new types of informational warfare, including automated accounts disguised as ordinary users called bots. We’re developing CHARISMA to support analysts evaluating the vulnerability and impact of various information campaigns by identifying different coordinated behaviors and the use of bots.”

CHARISMA will provide powerful tools to help social media ethnographers and analysts to filter, identify, and classify coordinated entities and their bots within large social media streams. CHARISMA goes beyond basic detection by helping to distinguish between benign and dangerous behavior, while assessing the vulnerability of target networks.

Charles River is partnering with Arizona State University and Intelligent Automation, Inc., on the CHARISMA effort. In this follow-on effort, the team will integrate methods developed under the initial effort into an advanced social media analysis plug-in that will work with a wide variety of commercially available social media analytics tools. This plug-in will support analysts with their assessments of new and ongoing adversarial information campaigns by highlighting and measuring the influence, risk, and vulnerabilities of a social network.

CHARISMA is one of Charles River’s efforts in socio-cultural modeling, which include decision aids, network analysis, and cyber adversary modeling and simulation. See other examples of our work on our socio-cultural modeling page.


This material is based upon work supported by the Naval Air Warfare Center – Aircraft Division under Contract No. N68335-17-C-0152. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Naval Air Warfare Center – Aircraft Division.

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