Abstract: We model the hierarchical evolution of an organized criminal network via antagonistic recruitment and pursuit processes. Within the recruitment phase, a criminal kingpin enlists new members into the network, who in turn seek out other affiliates. New recruits are linked to established criminals according to a probability distribution that depends on the current network structure. At the same time, law enforcement agents attempt to dismantle the growing organization using pursuit strategies that initiate on the lower level nodes and that unfold as self-avoiding random walks. The global details of the organization are unknown to law enforcement, who must explore the hierarchy node by node. We halt the pursuit when certain local criteria of the network are uncovered, encoding if and when an arrest is made; the criminal network is assumed to be eradicated if the kingpin is arrested. We first analyze recruitment and study the large scale properties of the growing network; later we add pursuit and use numerical simulations to study the eradication probability in the case of three pursuit strategies, the time to first eradication, and related costs. Within the context of this model, we find that eradication becomes increasingly costly as the network increases in size and that the optimal way of arresting the kingpin is to intervene at the early stages of network formation. We discuss our results in the context of dark network disruption and their implications on possible law enforcement strategies.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).