Some of the most important international security threats stem from terror groups, criminal enterprises, and other violent non-state actors (VNSAs). Because these groups are often structured as complex, dark networks, analysts have begun to use network science to study them. However, standard network tools were originally developed to examine companies, friendship groups, and other transparent networks. The inherently clandestine nature of dark networks dictates that conventional analytical tools do not always apply. Data on dark networks is incomplete, inaccurate, and often just difficult to find. Moreover, dark networks are often organized to undertake fundamentally different tasks than transparent networks, so resources and information may follow different paths through these two types of organizations. Given the distinctive characteristics of dark networks, unique tools and methods are needed to understand these structures. Illuminating Dark Networks explores the state-of-the art in methods to study and understand dark networks.
About the Author
Luke M. Gerdes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the United States Military Academy, West Point. In 2011 he worked as a visiting researcher with the Strategic Studies Institute at the US Army War College. He is the past recipient of West Point's Minerva Fellowship in the Study of Islamic Ideology and Asian Cultures, as well as the Smith Richardson World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship. His research focuses on the application of network science to the study of clandestine groups, with a regional emphasis on Asia.
Table of ContentsIntroduction Luke M. Gerdes; 1. Covert network analysis: an exchange network theory perspective Elisa Jayne Bienenstock and Michael Salwen; 2. Dark dimensions: classifying relationships among clandestine actors Luke M. Gerdes; 3. Disrupting and dismantling dark networks: lessons from social network analysis and law enforcement simulations David A. Bright; 4. The methodological challenges of extracting dark networks: minimizing false positives through ethnography Michael Kenney and Stephen Coulthart; 5. Detecting dark networks using geo-temporal and pattern based network analysis techniques Rich La Valley, Abe Usher and Alexander Halman; 6. LookingGlass: a visual intelligence platform for tracking social movements Hasan Davulcu and Mark Woodward; 7. Open source exploitation for understanding covert networks Kathleen M. Carley; 8. Simulating and analyzing dark networks: modeling and measuring using network tools David C. Arney, Jocelyn R. Bell, Kathryn A. Coronges and Greg Merkl; 9. Criminal social network intelligence analysis with the GANG software Paulo Shakarian, Michael Martin, John Bertetto, Bradley Fischl, Joseph Hannigan, Guillermo Hernandez, Evan Kenney, Jacob Lademan, Damon Paulo and Christian Young; 10. A new approach for identification of multiple threat scenarios to counter CBRN networks Ronald Breiger and Lauren Pinson; 11. Casting more light on dark networks: a stochastic actor-oriented longitudinal analysis of the Noordin top terrorist network Daniel Cunningham, Sean F. Everton and Philip J. Murphy; 12. Generating illicit networks: multi-level agent-based modeling and network formation rules among extremists Steve Scheinert; 13. Challenges to understanding covert groups Carl A. B. Pearson, Burton H. Singer and Edo Airoldi; 14. Dynamic actor-oriented models as a tool for the analysis of dark networks in a multiply connected actor-oriented environment Marc Anthony Johnson, Anthony N. Johnson and David C. Arney.