Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Applications of SNA

I have an interest in social networks. I'm particulary fascinated by the way they can create a nutural or holisitic classification and representation of some corpus. Jonathan D. Farley of MIT has recently used to SNA to explore international terrorism, specifically the structure of sleeper cells. Farley notes that operations should be directed at knocking out the weak ties in terrorist organizations so that the cells become isolated. Towards these ends, Farley notes that certain nodes aren't just nodes--a hierarchy exists. A weakly tied colonel, for example, is far more important than a weakly tied foot soldier. There may be interesting applications of Farley's work for analyzing corporate structures.

References

Farley, J.D. 2003. Breaking Al Qaeda cells: A mathematical analysis of counterterrorism operations (A guide for risk assessment and decision making). Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 26(November-December):399-411. Abstract available at http://taylorandfrancis.metapress.com/link.asp?id=0bywhr7hhhfm4vqe.

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