Social Radar Workflows, Dashboards, and Environments

March 2012
Topics: Intelligence Analysis, Modeling and Simulation, Social Behavior
Jennifer Mathieu, The MITRE Corporation
Michael Fulk, The MITRE Corporation
Martha Lorber, The MITRE Corporation
Dr. Gary L. Klein, The MITRE Corporation
Barry Costa, The MITRE Corporation
Dr. Dylan Schmorrow, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense Research and Engineering
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To build a global "Social Radar," an integrated set of capabilities supporting strategic and operational level situation awareness, alerts, and option awareness, there is a need for an overarching enterprise approach. Social Radar's objective is to demonstrate a useful, mission focused, end-to-end environment—a dashboard of socio-cultural indicators created from online news, blogs, and social media data processed at scale, as well as decision support tools. An enterprise focused testbed for early transition of sociocultural tools requires a data-to-decision support system. Such a system needs to provide tools to allow analysts to tailor and weight the fusion of indicators, to use online sources to update simulation model parameters to evaluate courses of action, and to use outcomes of course of action models to provide quantitative metrics for indicator integration strategies. This large scope requires an analysis environment that supports the development of common output measures, management of uncertainty analyses, and system evaluation and validation. Making these items requirements from the start ensures that Social Radar is addressing the most challenging aspects for use of sociocultural data and tools to support missions. Based on ten months of work on the Social Radar prototype, the following capabilities were built: (1) federated search of all available widgets for a topic, (2) hotspots on a globe for instability monitoring, (3) ability to analyze datasets with timelines and topic cloud visualizations, (4) news search capability, and (5) use of various other analytic drilldown tools. This demonstrated the possibilities of a Social Radar when fully mature. Business process lessons learned and next steps are shared for rigorous use of analytic tools and series of tools (workflows); data, indicator, and model outcome visualization strategies (dashboards); and supporting architecture for data processed at scale and near-real time monitoring (environments).

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