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Investigative Data Mining: Mathematical Models for Analyzing, Visualizing and Destabilizing Terrorist Networks

von Nasrullah Memon

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[1.] Nm/Fragment 216 05 - Diskussion
Zuletzt bearbeitet: 2012-04-23 11:27:25 Hindemith
Dugan etal 2006, Fragment, Gesichtet, Nm, SMWFragment, Schutzlevel sysop, Verschleierung

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Seite(n): 410-411, Zeilen: p 410: 39ff; p 411: 1ff
7.4.2 Weaknesses of Open Source Knowledge bases

As discussed above, the original knowledge base has some important strength; this study also recognizes that it also has significant weaknesses that need to be understood when drawing conclusions from data. Two types of weaknesses are especially important. First, all major open source databases rely on data culled from news resources; they are likely biased toward the most newsworthy forms of terrorism (Fowler, W. W., 1981).

Although the original knowledge base under discussion, includes events that were prevented by authorities (for example the Bojinka terrorists plan), it is certain that some potential terrorist attacks never came to the attention of the media and are thus excluded. A related issue is that the original knowledge base includes incidents covered by media where criminals/ terrorists remain undisclosed. Without information concerning a criminal/ terrorist it may be difficult to accurately classify an incident as terrorism. Also, various media accounts of similar terrorist incidents may contain conflicting information. Without measures of reliability in news reporting, it is difficult for researchers to distinguish, which source supplies the most perfect account.

The second issue is that the original knowledge base lacks information on other important issues associated with each terrorism incident. Open source databases also lack information on the psychological characteristics, recruitment, and careers of members of terrorist movements. A lack of data on terrorist networks is mainly explained by their covert nature.

4.2 Weaknesses of Open Source Terrorism Databases

But while the PGIS data has some important strengths, we also recognize that it also has important weaknesses that need to be understood when drawing conclusions from the data. Three types of weaknesses are especially important. First, all the major open source terrorism databases (ITERATE, MIPT-RAND and PGIS) rely on data culled from news sources, thus they are likely biased toward the most newsworthy forms of terrorism [6]. Although the PGIS database includes events that were prevented by [page 411] authorities, it is certain that some potential terrorist attacks never came to the attention of the media and are thus excluded. A related issue is that the PGIS database includes incidents covered by the media where the perpetrator remains unidentified. Without information concerning the perpetrator it may be difficult to accurately classify the incident as terrorism, since the definition relies on the motive of the attacker. Finally, various media accounts of similar terrorist incidents may contain conflicting information. Without measures of reliability in news reporting, it is difficult for researchers to discern which source supplies the most accurate account.

The second issue is that the dataset lacks information on other important issues associated with each terrorism incident. Open source databases, including the one created by PGIS also lack information on the “psychological characteristics, recruitment, and careers of members of terrorist movements” [9:28]. [...] Of course, the lack of data on terrorist groups is mainly explained by their clandestine nature.


[6]. Fowler, W. W. (1981). [...]

Anmerkungen

The text has been copied with only slight adaptations, the source is not mentioned in the thesis anywhere

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