Discourse Analysis for Insights into Group Identity and Intent

Period of Performance: 07/16/2012 - 04/16/2013


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Intelligent Models, Inc.
10303 Sweetwood Ave Array
Rockville, MD 20850
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT: Discourse plays a variety of functions in the lifecycle of human organizations, as it helps define collective identities, motivate and justify causes, outline roles, articulate ideologies, and supply language-based scripts that can be enacted. Discourse plays a significant role in creating and perpetuating both a climate of political violence and that violence, itself. Human societies consist of heterogeneous, evolving groups, some of which represent terrorist organizations. Narratives are vital to our understanding of these organizations, their functions, dynamics, and intent. To promote rapid acquisition of insights into identity and intent of various groups, we propose GAIN (Group Analytics and Intelligence from Narratives) system which automates the processes of: (1) reverse-engineering of discourse structure and semantics; (2) interpretation, inference, and analysis of texts; and (3) reverse-engineering of group identities, sentiments, indicators of moral disengagement, and intent. GAIN will deliver a novel text-mining, correlation, and reasoning engine, equipped with easy-to-use analytics, to help profile groups of interest and map out their shared mental attributes and likely intent. Ultimately, GAIN will help junior analysts to explore the regional Patterns-of-Life; detect the culture-specific indicators of impending hostility; initiate profiling of hostile actors and groups; and cue their in-depth monitoring with special-purpose ISR assets. BENEFIT: GAIN will benefit the U.S. military commanders by facilitating their understanding of individuals, groups, and populations in the region of interest. GAIN will do this by providing superior support to HSCB modeling efforts that enable prediction of behaviors of prospective enemies and noncombatants on and off the battlefield. GAIN will benefit the organizational research community by providing them with transparent automated ways to collect and analyze HSCB data that can be used to predict (and thus prepare for and/or preempt) hostile behaviors or events that threaten normal functioning of human societies. Ultimately, it will help stakeholders to better understand the dynamics of regional HSCB terrains.