Research could predict potential attacks

A researcher affiliated with UVM may be able to predict terrorist attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to University Communications.


Their study, “Patterns in Escalations in Insurgent and Terrorist Activity,” was published in Science magazine and used public data about combat fatalities in the two countries to form a mathematical model, the article stated.


The team applied this model to terrorist attacks throughout the Middle East and proved that the interval between attacks was highly predictable.


“There may be noise in my forecast,” Brian Tivnan, a researcher in the study, said. “But if you ask, ‘Can we characterize the arrival time of fatal events…and what trajectory they will follow?’ our method will show that very, very clearly.”


This model may help military strategists address questions like how many soldiers are needed, where and when.