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Vienna, VA, United States

Merrick J.,Virginia Commonwealth University | Parnell G.S.,U.S. Military Academy | Parnell G.S.,Innovative Decisions, Inc.
Risk Analysis | Year: 2011

In counterterrorism risk management decisions, the analyst can choose to represent terrorist decisions as defender uncertainties or as attacker decisions. We perform a comparative analysis of probabilistic risk analysis (PRA) methods including event trees, influence diagrams, Bayesian networks, decision trees, game theory, and combined methods on the same illustrative examples(container screening for radiological materials)to get insights into the significant differences in assumptions and results. A key tenent of PRA and decision analysis is the use of subjective probability to assess the likelihood of possible outcomes. For each technique, we compare the assumptions, probability assessment requirements, risk levels, and potential insights for risk managers. We find that assessing the distribution of potential attacker decisions is a complex judgment task, particularly considering the adaptation of the attacker to defender decisions. Intelligent adversary risk analysis and adversarial risk analysis are extensions of decision analysis and sequential game theory that help to decompose such judgments. These techniques explicitly show the adaptation of the attacker and the resulting shift in risk based on defender decisions. © 2011 Society for Risk Analysis.

Miller W.D.,Innovative Decisions, Inc.
CrossTalk | Year: 2012

The practice of cyber security appears to be predominantly a game of Whac-A-Mole, and the moles are winning! Systems are designed and deployed with security such as it is, grafted on, and the standard response to adversarial attacks is to continually patch the IT and burden humans with process and passwords. We must learn to think systemically to seek advantage, or at least maintain parity over adversarial threats, as our infrastructure becomes more complexly integrated.

Becker W.W.,Salutary Technology Inc. | Chinnis J.O.,Innovative Decisions, Inc.
MTS/IEEE Seattle, OCEANS 2010 | Year: 2010

The primary purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that a range of proposed government actions can and often should be evaluated in a way that includes their effects on personal freedoms. This is illustrated in the case of efforts directed toward recreational boating safety in the United States, and evolves from a multi-year study to recommend the composition of an appropriate risk management system for that subject. The proposed system seeks to determine best safety/security decisions, in a way that reflects Community roles, values and resources, and that includes effects on "freedom" in the calculus of costs and benefits associated with alternative actions. Its extension to Regional Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning is discussed. There were 738 reported deaths in U.S. recreational boating accidents in 2009. There is a community interested in preventing boating accidents that includes the U. S. Coast Guard, agencies of each of the States and many localities, various non-profits and interest groups, and, of course, boaters themselves. The ethos of boating and related law are such that proponents for imposed safety measures, including boat and operator requirements and restrictions, must take into account the discretionary nature of this activity. Thus, the question, familiar in U.S. public decision-making, is how best to balance and apportion the risks, costs and changes in participant enjoyment or freedom to act connected with choices that might be made to enhance safety. This paper describes a proposed risk management system the development of which took place over a ten year period by a varied group of participants under a grant to the Marine Safety Foundation. The proposed system recognizes that any policy analysis must consider multiple objectives for different stakeholder groups. It is intentional in incorporating the views, values and resources of Community members in its analyses of proposals for safety actions. It is also intentional about incorporating "freedom" as a value in play, (along with the costs to different parties and changes in risk/safety that might result,) in the quantitative analysis of its choices for safety interventions. Thus, these risk management guidelines comprise a structure of values reflecting U. S. political outlook, group relational elements, analytical processes and critical characteristics of its subject. As presented in its final report, published last winter, it includes a computer-enabled process, (developed by participants from Innovative Decisions, Inc.,) to weigh changes in risk, cost and "freedom" connected with proposed safety options. This model for an integrating framework incorporates probabilistic risk analysis, value-focused thinking for examining critical tradeoffs using multi-attribute utility analysis, and analysis of alternatives across multiple stake holders and boating classes. An in-depth analysis of the human-error causes of fatal boating accidents was also performed during the course of this project. It points out the most serious accident causes, which are seen to vary across different boat types, and provides another basis for identifying needed safety interventions. The outlook and approach developed in the course of this project are useful in a wide range of government decisions where actions intended to provide security or other aspects of the "greater good" demand a balance of rights and obligations among multiple stakeholders with different values, helping to rationalize the essential give-and-take of our political process.1 ©2010 IEEE.

Davis L.J.,George Mason University | Saunders C.P.,George Mason University | Hepler A.,George Mason University | Hepler A.,Innovative Decisions, Inc.
Forensic Science International | Year: 2012

The likelihood ratio paradigm has been studied as a means for quantifying the strength of evidence for a variety of forensic evidence types. Although the concept of a likelihood ratio as a comparison of the plausibility of evidence under two propositions (or hypotheses) is straightforward, a number of issues arise when one considers how to go about estimating a likelihood ratio. In this paper, we illustrate one possible approach to estimating a likelihood ratio in comparative handwriting analysis. The novelty of our proposed approach relies on generating simulated writing samples from a collection of writing samples from a known source to form a database for estimating the distribution associated with the numerator of a likelihood ratio. We illustrate this approach using documents collected from 432 writers under controlled conditions. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.92K | Year: 2014

The next generation of virtual training applications for the Army needs to support training at the company or battalion level with corresponding increases to the operational area and level of complexity. Current simulation-based virtual environment training applications are capped at 40 participants or less due to the inability of systems resources to handle a larger number of concurrent users. This also means that there are limited system resources left over to accommodate larger operational areas and realistic levels of complexity. This severely limits the operational relevance of virtual training for many training scenarios. This research will provide designs, performance benchmarks, and a prototype of a generalized non-relational database management system for a virtual environment training application. Such a database design will attempt to overcome weaknesses of traditional relational databases and allow for hundreds or thousands of concurrent participants while preserving resources for increased operational areas and complexity. The dynamic schema of non-relational databases will also provide benefits such as faster application development, more reliable code integration, and continuous availability.

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