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'Fighting' IED attacks with SCARE technology
Date:12/10/2009

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- University of Maryland researchers have developed and successfully tested new computer software and computational techniques to analyze patterns of improvised explosive device (IED) attacks in Iraq, Afghanistan or other locations and predict the locations of weapons caches that are used by insurgents to support those attacks.

University of Maryland computer science Ph.D. student Paulo Shakarian and computer science Professor V.S. Subrahmanian, together with University of Torino (Italy) computer science Professor Maria-Luisa Sapino developed a new computational technique called geospatial abduction designed to help analysts locate caches of explosive weapons. Their resulting software, called SCARE (Spatio-Cultural Abductive Reasoning Engine) allows human analysts to combine available intelligence with this analytical computational technique to identify the most probable locations of IED weapons caches. The researchers say tests conducted with the SCARE software have been quite accurate.

"The SCARE software is not a stand-alone tool," said Subrahmanian, who also is director of the University of Maryland's Institute for Advanced Computer Studies "Military commanders and intelligence analysts would use SCARE in conjunction with their own experience and knowledge of a region, and together with available intelligence to pinpoint likely cache locations."

"SCARE is designed to address a very real tactical problem our soldiers encounter on a regular basis," said Shakarian, who is a U.S. Army Captain enrolled in the Army's Advanced Civil Schooling program "By helping concentrate the focus of both observations and searches, we think SCARE would allow field commanders to better deploy resources, and in many cases, catch insurgents in the process of resupplying such locations or actually carrying out IED attacks." Shakarian has spent over two years in Iraq.

To test their technique, Subrahmanian, Shakarian and Sapino r
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Contact: Lee Tune
ltune@umd.edu
301-405-4679
University of Maryland
Source:Eurekalert

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