Developing an Adaptive Framework to Support Intelligence Analysis

McDermott, A.1, Veinott, E.2, Eusebi, L.1, Whitaker, E.3, Trewhitt, E.3, Mueller, S.2, Illingworth, D.4, Thomas, R.3, Dougherty, M.4, Guarino, S.1

International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction 2021

An essential component to intelligence analysis is inferring an explanation for uncertain, contradictory, and incomplete data. In order to arrive at the best explanation, effective analysts in any discipline conduct an iterative, convergent broadening and narrowing hypothesis assessment using their own tradecraft. Based on this observation, we developed an adaptive framework to support intelligence analysis while being tradecraft agnostic. The Reasoning About Multiple Paths and Alternatives to Generate Effective Forecasts (RAMPAGE) process framework provides a structure to organize and order analysis methods to maximize the number and quality of hypotheses generated, helping to improve final forecasts. The framework consists of five stages of analysis: (1) Information Gathering and Evaluation; (2) Multi-Path Generation; and (3) Problem Visualization; (4) Multi-Path Reasoning; and (5) Forecast Generation. As part of IARPA’s FOCUS program, we demonstrated the flexibility of this framework by developing five versions of the process to answer five different sets of counter-factual forecasting challenges. While the FOCUS program concentrated on counter-factual forecasting, this framework was designed to support hypothesis generation and assessment, which is a critical component of analysis across the intelligence domain.

1 Charles River Analytics
2 Michigan Technological University
3 Georgia Tech Research Institute
4 University of Maryland

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