Disrupting organized crime networks

Governing data

Is it the light of day or a train coming?

ANTHONY BONATO, DIETER MITSCHE, AND PAWE L PRA LAT wrote a nice article on how to disrupt a social directed a-cyclic graph namely an hierarchic one. The concept is not now as it is very similar with finding the minimal cut of a network so that when this “cut” is performed the flow through the network is severed.

The innovation behind their approach is that they are using a dynamic algorithm to stop / block the flow through the net work. This Seepage algorithm as they call it is dynamically blocking node in the network and very similar to the game of Go, the dynamics of the flow is reduced with each chosen blocked node.

The positive thing with their approach is that Law Enforcement and counter terrorism is an ongoing process in which the disruption process in ongoing in time.

However there are some issues with the approach.

Firstly, this is applicable to hierarchic non cyclic networks which really model organized crime and not necessarily terrorist organizations. Terrorist organizations are usually non hierarchic and in many ways get feedback from the grunts and the population that the terrorists assimilate within.

Secondly, the network topology is assumed to be known. In most cases the problem is not the disruption process in itself but the recognition of the topology.

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