Supporting Reasoning about Cultural and Organizational Influences in an Intelligence Analysis Decision Aid

Pfautz, J., Fouse, A., Roth, E., and Karabaich, B.

Proceedings of the International Conference on Intelligence Analysis ’05, McLean, VA (May 2005)

For commanders to maintain an edge in anticipating adversary decisions and actions, improvements must be made in developing and fielding tools to support the intelligence analyst’s ability to reason about human and organizational behavior. To address this need, we have developed a prototype analyst decision aid that explicitly incorporates organizational and cultural influences into a system for understanding and predicting possible adversary behavior. This decision-aid supports the intelligence analyst by providing customizable inferencing capabilities to infer target biases and predict likely target behavior. Key elements of our approach include: the definition of a wide variety of possible organizational/cultural influences on target behavior; the ability to represent organizational/cultural archetypes; the management of uncertainty; and the ability to develop, adapt, and edit knowledge structures. Our goal is to provide a system that is adaptable at all levels – from the underlying computational predictions to the technique used to visualize results – to address a particular situation or an individual analyst’s cognitive style. We provide this adaptability within a system for visualizing data in social networks and/or as (structure or unstructured) text in combination with an inferencing engine supporting rule-based reasoning and Bayesian belief networks. With the aid of a number of active and retired intelligence analysts, we have developed a software prototype of this system and constructed an example use case centered on a scenario containing a range of potential cultural and organizational influences. In this paper, we present the capabilities of our tool and along with specific examples of its intended use.

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