Mercyhurst University

Intelligence Thesis Library

Disclaimer on all works:

  • The Ridge College at Mercyhurst University believes all work posted to the site to be the original scholarship of the author noted. The theses are academic works completed as part of their degree program. Any requests to remove content will be honored.
  • If you believe the posting of the thesis to be in error or would like your thesis included, please contact odanzell@mercyhurst.edu

2016

Date of Publication: August 2016
Title: Hypervisibility In Ukraine: Social Media’s Evolution As Seen Through Revolution
Author: Sandra L. Larson
Primary Reader: James G. Breckenridge
Secondary Reader: Dawn M. Wozneak
Brief: The purpose of this thesis is to examine how the internet, and more specifically, social media, has become a major part of social revolution intelligence gathering. Although social revolutions have successfully taken place throughout history without the internet (save the last 20-30 years), the dawn of the internet has changed the nature of these revolutions. Once able to remain largely contained in their respective regions of the world, the internet provides a mouthpiece to the world wherever events may take place. This thesis will look at whether social revolution monitoring now requires the intelligence gleaned from social media sources.Case studies of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004 and the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution are utilized in this thesis to demonstrate if hypervisibility as a result of social media usage can impact social revolution, and how it has evolved through the last decade. By the time of the Orange Revolution in 2004, the internet had been around for quite some time and was an engrained part of everyday life. However, when the revolution in Ukraine began in late 2013, not only had the internet become a part of everyday life, but social media such as Facebook and Twitter lent new aspects to revolution being broadcast throughout the world. This thesis analyzes whether the hypervisibility of social media really does sustain full social revolution, or whether it contributes to slacktivism (activism online which does not translate into real action in the physical world), not really bringing about full social changes.
Pages in Document: 77 pages
 
 
Date of Publication: May 2016
Title: Oil & Terrorism: How Terrorism Affects Oil Rents
Author: Dillon F. Farrell
Primary Reader: Orlandrew Danzell
Secondary Reader: Dawn Wozneak
Brief: The purpose of this thesis was to assess the impact terrorism has on oil prices. To conduct the study, a mixed-methods approach was used, although primarily quantitative analysis was used to determine terrorism’s effect on the oil market. Due to existing data, the dependent variable used was oil rents, which is an alternative method for assessing yearly oil prices. The findings indicate that domestic terrorism does increase oil rents, and therefore increases oil prices. Due to terrorism data being coded predominantly as domestic terrorism, the general theory can be applied that terrorism increases oil prices. Future research is advised, and the data sample still had some gaps that would ideally be filled to increase the robustness of the study. That said, this study provides results that should assist in policymakers in their decisions regarding energy security, especially as it relates to potential contingency plans regarding terrorist attacks against the oil industry.
Pages in Document: 64 pages
 
 
Date of Publication: May 2016
Title: Sex Trafficking And The Super Bowl: A Connection Between Major Sporting Events And Human Trafficking
Author: Jennifer E. Fredericks
Primary Reader: Stephen Zidek
Secondary Reader: William Welch
Brief: The goal of this study is to understand the connection between major sporting events and human trafficking. It takes a mixed method approach to examine what was predicted, what actually happened and preventative measures taken during several major sporting events around the world to prevent sex trafficking. The second portion of the study performed a content analysis of escort ads placed on Backpage during the 2016 Super Bowl. This was done by compiling a list of sex trafficking indicators for online classifieds and other escort websites. The data captured during the study shows a strong connection between sex trafficking and major sporting events.
Pages in Document: 110 pages
 
Date of Publication: May 2016
Title: An Application Of Risk Terrain Modeling To Identifying High Risk Locations For Active Shooter Events
Author: John W. Hecht
Primary Reader: Dawn Wozneak
Secondary Reader: Orlandrew E. Danzell
Brief: This thesis is intended to apply risk terrain modeling (RTM) for the purpose of identifying at risk locations for active shooter events (ASEs). The need for alternative geospatial methodologies in addressing ASEs is evident in the increasing frequency and seemingly randomness of these events. To apply RTM, this thesis first develops a location profile for ASEs that can be operationalized. The developed model incorporated the following risk factors: non-residential location density, location type, and distance from police stations. The study then tested the accuracy of the model against two cases: Century Theaters in Aurora, Colorado and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The resulting RTMs identified both case locations as at risk.
Pages in Document: 64 pages
 
 
Date of Publication: May 2016
Title: An Empirical Evaluation Of Counterterrorism Spending And Its Subsequent Effect On Reducing Terrorism
Author: Samuel C. Illig
Primary Reader: Orlandrew Danzell
Secondary Reader: Dawn Wozneak
Brief: This research attempted to identify how efficiently counterterrorism resources were being used to combat terrorist attacks within seven different countries. The research used counterterrorism and public safety spending figures from the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, and France, along with terrorism attack data from each country, to attempt to understand the effects that counterterrorism spending had on reducing terrorism attacks and terrorism attack lethality. Specifically, the study used both a Poisson regression model as well as an ordinary least squares regression model to evaluate the impact of counterterrorism spending on terrorist attacks and terrorist attack lethality. The study found that counterterrorism spending has an effect on decreasing domestic terrorism incidents within a country. The study also found that counterterrorism spending led to reductions in terrorist attack lethality. In both cases, however, the reductions in both terrorism incidents and lethality were extremely small, suggesting that counterterrorism resources are being over-allocated in many cases.
Pages in Document: 73 pages
 
 
Date of Publication: April 2016
Title: Child Health And Education Metrics As A National Security Forecasting Tool
Author: Sam Howe
Primary Reader: Orlandrew Danzell
Secondary Reader: William Welch
Brief: This thesis examines the relationship between child demographic, health, education metrics and military manpower forecasts in developing nations. The forecast model is tested using data drawn from 47 nations of Sub-Saharan Africa. The collection and analysis process was able to successfully produce manpower forecasts for 35 nations. Child health and education were found to have a significant impact on military manpower forecasts in developing nations. For example, the thesis forecast results were compared to annual military manpower forecasts published in the CIA World Factbook and found to predict that only one in four young adults in the CIA document are actually healthy and sufficiently educated to serve in a modern military. Additionally, the research study identified international aid leverage points that could measurably improve the fitness of future military manpower pools. Finally, the analysis examined the manpower risks for each nation if their military should need to be doubled in size during a time of national emergency or conflict.
Pages in Document: 86 pages
 
 
Date of Publication: March 2016
Title: Indicators Of Success In Cybersecurity Startups: Towards A Competitive Indicators And Warning Analytic Model
Author: Andrew P. Coffey
Primary Reader: Shelly Freyn
Secondary Reader: Dawn Wozneak
Brief: This study analyzes the literature on entrepreneurial efforts and factors contributing to the success of new companies in order to determine which factors are indicative of likely success of cybersecurity startups. After determining which factors most directly contribute to success, the researcher developed a model that can be applied to new cybersecurity startups in order to estimate the likelihood of the new startup’s success. This research and resulting model will benefit competitive and market intelligence professionals, potential investors, and companies seeking to acquire a startup firm. This thesis will review existing literature covering topics of entrepreneurial efforts, success factors, and the field of intelligence. Following the literature review, the study translates the structured analytic technique Indicators and Warning analysis (a national security and military intelligence method) into a competitive intelligence methodology. Expansion on the reviewed literature and development of the model will result in a synthesis of market and business research on startup successes with intelligence and analytic methodologies that improve an analyst’s forecasting accuracy. Through a comparative case study of three cybersecurity startups, this thesis will examine several success factors based on the startups’ funding, firm, and founder attributes in order to determine which factors are more indicative of success. The study analyzes one successful case (Palo Alto Networks) and two unsuccessful cases (ISC8, Inc. and Cryptine Networks) to assess the success factors. The study then tests the developed Competitive Indicators and Warning model on the three cases to determine the model’s validity, then analyzes Area 1 Security, a nascent cybersecurity startup, to demonstrated the model’s estimative capabilities.
Pages in Document: 137 pages
 
 
Date of Publication: January 2016
Title: Operational Red Teaming In The Asymmetrical Threat Environment: Viability At The Federal, State, And Local Level
Author: Joshua C. Hahlen
Primary Reader: Dawn Wozneak
Secondary Reader: Orlandrew E. Danzell
Brief: Operational Red Team (ORT) analysis is one of many methods to analyzing specific threat-based problems. While traditional analysis occurs on paper, on a whiteboard, with individuals sitting around a table, ORT analysis places the emphasis on a simulation environment. Red Team analysis has a historical precedent set in the military decision- making process. Modern Red Team analysis continues to carry on this tradition, while also supporting alternative analysis, Devil’s Advocacy, and operational (i.e. threat emulation) testing. This study examined the viability of ORT testing through recent terror-style attacks within the U.S., reviewing existing and relatively unknown ORTs within the Federal Government, and reviewing emerging security procedures within the cyber security arena.
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The primary findings of this study indicate: operational red team analysis provides a unique perspective to identify potential security vulnerabilities and corresponding mitigating techniques; this type of analysis can be successful at all levels of government and business, from Military, Intelligence, and Law Enforcement communities to commercial and private sector businesses; continued budget reductions necessitate a streamlined all-hazards risk, reduction methodology; and public outcry following a significant life/safety event places increased pressure on existing security measures and the development of improved prevention techniques. While the purpose of this study is not implying ORT analysis must occur everywhere, the study does show that common vulnerabilities and mitigation techniques already exist. Using the results of existing studies combined with unique analysis techniques, any organization, at any level can ensure a safe working environment in an asymmetric threat environment.
Pages in Document: 112 pages
 

2015

Date of Publication: December 2015
Title: Driving Factors For Sunni And Shia Foreign Terrorist Organizations: A Comparative Analysis
Author: Sarah K. Ervin
Primary Reader: Orlandrew Danzell
Secondary Reader: Dawn Wozneak
Brief: This thesis examined the trend of Sunni terrorist organizations being transnational actors while Shi’a terrorist organizations are state-sponsored actors and generated a hypothesis explaining this trend. Up until this point, this trend had been identified but not examined. Using a case comparison approach with a structured focus comparison design, this thesis compared Al Qaeda, Abdullah Azzam Brigades, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Quds Force, and Hizballah using a standardized set of questions, which enabled the collected data to be compared. From these comparisons, this thesis developed a hypothesis explaining this trend and argued why this hypothesis best fits the collected data. This thesis identified multiple characteristics in which these terrorist organizations are similar. Despite these similarities, these organizations diverge when comparing their ideological views and whether or not an Islamic state has been established. This thesis proposed that this dual political and ideological motivation drives the trend of Sunni and Shi’a terrorist organizations and their respective terrorism actor types.
Pages in Document: 65 pages
 
 
Date of Publication: December 2015
Title: Open Source Data Jeopardizing Cleared Personnel: Intelligence Operations Outsmarted By Technology
Author: Alexander H. Georgiades
Primary Reader: William Welch
Secondary Reader: Dawn Wozneak
Brief: The amount of information available to adversaries is at an unprecedented level. Open source forums provide detailed information about cleared personnel and government TTPs that can be used by adversaries to unravel intelligence operations, target cleared personnel, and jeopardize USG equities (such as sources and methods) in the field. The cleared workforce must learn from mistakes of complacency and poor tradecraft in the past to develop new methodologies to neutralize the effectiveness of adversaries who use OSINT and biometric technology to their advantage.
Pages in Document: 85 pages
 
 
Date of Publication: May 2015
Title: A Geospatial Model For Higher Education Marketing: Utilizing Demographics To Target Ideal Markets
Author: Sean Admas
Primary Reader: Shelly Freyn
Secondary Reader: Dawn Wozneak
Brief: This thesis is intended to produce a model that can guide target marketing strategies at higher education institutions. This model is needed because universities are facing ever increasing competition as the number of colleges in the country continues to increase. Despite this growing competition, these institutions have been slow to adapt the target marketing techniques that are widely used in the corporate world. This study seeks to ease the adoption of this marketing method by providing a geospatial model that can be used to identify ideal high schools for marketing. The model is based on the scholarly research of why students select their universities. The model identifies the demographic makeup of the school’s student body. It then selects ideal high schools based on their geographical location and the demographic characteristics of the surrounding region. In order to illustrate the utility of this model, it is applied to the case of Mercyhurst University’s Ridge College.
Pages in Document: 86 pages
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Date of Publication: May 2015
Title: Vulnerability Assessment: Publicizing Top Secret/Special Compartmentalized Information Clearances On Social Media Sites And Its Impact On Organizational Cyber Security
Author: Leslie Guelcher
Primary Reader: Stephen Zidek
Secondary Reader: William Welch
Brief: Technologies accessed via the Internet, such as Social Media and online networking, enable employees to build relationships and conduct business without in-person interactions. One major hub for building professional networks is LinkedIn, which is also used to recruit personnel. Studies indicate that insider theft is often conducted within one month of an employee leaving a company. The reasons for the theft is the desire to obtain intellectual property by either outsiders or insiders. Identifying an organization’s vulnerabilities to IP theft is a key concern of security personnel. One such vulnerability is the personal identifying information listed on Social Media sites, such as LinkedIn. While much research has been conducted surrounding this vulnerability, none have looked at the vulnerability surrounding employees publicizing their US government security clearance classification levels. The rules governing publicizing security clearance are vague. With the increased usage of Social Media sites by employees working for organizations with government contracts, little is known about the impact of listing security clearances on public Social Media sites on organizational security. This report addresses the intersection of cyber theft, psychological indicators for insider theft, Social Media usage, and security clearance publicizing. While less than 1% of the employees of US governmental-contractors listed their Top Secret/Special Compartmentalized Information clearance on LinkedIn, over 95% of those in management positions who also listed TS/SCI were identified by full name, position and company in under 5 minutes. The ability to easily identify the PII of management personnel who hold TS/SCI clearances creates IP-theft security vulnerabilities for organizations, as seen in the intersection of the Venn diagram below.
Pages in Document: 99 pages
 
 
Date of Publication: January 2015
Title: Overt Acceptance: Cultural Intelligence In Covert Operatives
Author: Chip M. Buckley
Primary Reader: Stephen Zidek
Secondary Reader: James Breckenridge
Brief: In the post-9/11 national security landscape, both former President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama have increasingly relied upon covert action to support policy. This study seeks to explain critical characteristics of successful covert action operations, specifically through covert operatives’ ‘cultural intelligence’ knowledge and expertise. The author sought to explain the symbiotic relationship between covert action and ‘cultural intelligence’ through a thorough examination of a single case study focusing on Operation JAWBREAKER because this operation represents the type of covert operations that characterizes this period of time. The JAWBREAKER team leaders’ ‘cultural intelligence’ levels were analyzed using a cultural intelligence scale in order to determine how their leading ‘cultural intelligence’ knowledge reflected their operational performance during Operation JAWBREAKER. Indeed, the author found that there is a positive correlation between high ‘cultural intelligence’ levels and covert operational success.
Pages in Document: 67 pages
 

 

2014

Date of Publication: December 2014
Title: Deviant Women: Female Invovlement In Terrorist Organizations
Author: Olivia M. Bizovi
Primary Reader: James G. Breckenridge
Secondary Reader: Orlandrew E. Danzell
Brief: Traditionally, women are seen as the ‘fairer’ sex, reinforcing the notion that they are unlikely to commit violent acts. However, female involvement in terrorist organizations has been increasingly noted in media outlets and academia. These increases in frequency and scope of involvement elicit the question of whether or not female involvement is likely to increase in the next three to five years. This involvement is of notable concern for law enforcement and national security, since women are frequently not scrutinized as closely when it comes to screening for terrorist activity. A case study approach was taken to evaluate three United States designated terrorist organizations, Al-Qaeda, the Black Widows, and Hamas, that currently involve women in their operations as well as one group with female participants that is no longer in existence, the Tamil Tigers. This research examined both the variety of roles to which women are assigned as well as the demographic compositions of female recruits and operatives within each organization. The research found a wide range of demographics of female members as well as the increased notion that terrorist groups can use women as a surprise; increasing both their tactical and strategic advantages and making their operations more successful than they may be with male operatives. Additionally, recent media coverage has indicated an increased number of women involved in suicide bombings and the formation of their own brigade within established terrorist organizations. The notable success terrorist organizations have with female members indicates a likelihood that they will continue to employ female members over the next three to five years.
Pages in Document: 74 pages
 
 
Date of Publication: May 2014
Title: Modern Intelligence Measures To Combat Animal Poaching: A Conservation & Counterterrorism Strategy
Author: Angela J. Anderson
Primary Reader: Dawn Wozneak
Secondary Reader: James Breckenridge
Brief: This thesis explores nuanced intelligence techniques and technologies currently implemented by analysts, rangers, anti-poaching units, and governments to combat the growing problem of animal poaching. It explores how these new intelligence methods can be incorporated into anti-poaching operations and in what environments they are most effective. The study finds that terrain, cultural factors, and specific, customizable, anti-poaching intelligence techniques play a large role in terms of devising the best possible intelligence strategy to combat animal poaching. The study views these possible solutions through the lens of the INT’s including HUMINT, SIGINT, MASINT, IMINT, GEOINT, and OSINT. It further highlights terrorist groups’ increasing use of poaching to fund their operations. This thesis takes a case study methodological approach in order to describe a wide variety of cases in various national parks, reserves, conservatories, anti-poaching organizations, and countries across the African continent. Due to a lack of data and only recent implementation of these methods, this approach provided the best possible means to display and analyze the current available data applicable to intelligence in anti-poaching operations.
Pages in Document: 108 pages
 
 
Date of Publication: January 2014
Title: Corporate Turnaround: Developing An Intelligence Methodology To Determine The Likelihood Of A Successful Turnaround
Author: Chad T. Los Schumacher
Primary Reader: Shelly Freyn
Secondary Reader: William Welch
Brief: Corporate turnarounds are a complicated, involved process affected by numerous internal and external factors. Analysts seemingly predict successful turnarounds or failure upon facts supporting their belief, as there is no objective methodology used to assess these companies. This study seeks to create a methodology intended to determine the likelihood of a successful turnaround by a struggling company. By combining literature on why companies fail with literature on how to execute a corporate turnaround, this study created a single methodology intended to analyze both the decline and turnaround of a company. After reviewing literature covering both decline and turnaround, the study married frameworks by Collins and Slatter and Lovett to create a framework containing factors, which could be assessed through open sources. The methodology was then tested by using case studies of two companies in the retail clothing industry: Eddie Bauer, a failed business, and Gap, Inc., which achieved a successful turnaround. Using the results from these two companies, the study assesses J.C. Penney, a company currently undergoing a turnaround in order to determine the likelihood of its success. The study found that Eddie Bauer dwelled in denial of its problems and took either no action or inadequate action throughout its turnaround. Gap, however, achieved most of the recommended steps and actions suggested by literature, resulting in a successful turnaround. J.C. Penney’s results contain similarities to Eddie Bauer, taking too little action, too late in the turnaround, and addressing cosmetic issues rather than the core operations and infrastructure of the business.
Pages in Document: 128 pages
 

 

2013

Date of Publication: December 2013
Title: Countering Threat Financing Since 9/11: Evaluating Financial Enforcement Under The USA Patriot Act
Author: Nicolas Cardillo
Primary Reader: William Welch
Secondary Reader: Orlandrew E. Danzell
Brief: Whether large or small, all threats to US national security require some level of financial support, whether overt or covert, direct or indirect. This study seeks to address a significant gap in the academic literature regarding the enforcement of Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act to defend national security. In total, the study reviews and evaluates all 17 cases where the US Department of the Treasury has proposed or implemented special measures against financial institutions or geographic jurisdictions of primary money laundering concern since 2001. The study leverages a qualitative content analysis and case study approach to explain when, where, and why Treasury took special measures under Section 311 based on official government documents and press releases as well as public news sources. 
The study revealed that terrorism was identified as a primary factor in Treasury’s decision to apply Section 311 in only 35% of the cases despite the fact the USA PATRIOT Act was passed in response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The study also found that while Treasury proposed special measures in 94% of the cases, it only implemented the proposed special measures in 29% of the cases as many US banks took proactive action to cease banking activity with the targeted institution or jurisdiction. Finally, the study found that Section 311 was applied to small to medium-sized banks in countries on the periphery of international commerce so as not to wreak havoc on the international payment and clearance system.
Pages in Document: 150 pages
 
 
Date of Publication: October 2013
Title: A Games-Based Approach to Teaching Cognitive Biases
Author: Melonie K. Richey
Primary Reader: Kristan J. Wheaton
Secondary Reader: James G. Breckenridge
Brief: Cognitive bias is a highly relevant problem for intelligence analysts that the intelligence community has recently addressed in initiatives to more effectively train analysts using a games-based approach. This paper presents quantitative data analysis and anecdotal evidence across multiple venues substantiating a tabletop game approach to cognitive bias training for working intelligence analysts.
Pages in Document: 108 pages
 
 
Date of Publication: May 2013
Title: Socio-Cultural Intelligence: The Effect of Socio-Cultural Information on Intelligence Estimates
Author: Emily A. Slegel
Primary Reader: Dawn M. Wozneak
Secondary Reader: Shelly L. Freyn
Brief: The lack of effective cultural information has rendered traditional United States’ military and diplomatic strategies ineffective for 21st century conflicts. This study uses experimental observation conducted at the Intelligence Studies Program at Mercyhurst University. Using descriptive statistics, this thesis demonstrated that socio-cultural intelligence has a positive effect on accuracy of intelligence estimates but not at a statistically significant level.
Pages in Document: 72 pages
 
 
Date of Publication: May 2013
Title: Interdisciplinary Collaborative Learning: Enabling a Culture of Integration within the United States Intelligence Community
Author: Eric R. Zitz
Primary Reader: Dawn M. Wozneak
Secondary Reader: Shelly L. Freyn
Brief: The purpose of this study was to develop a theory that explains the relationship between culture, collaboration, and learning in the United States Intelligence Community. The grounded theory mixed-method approach yielded both qualitative and quantitative datafrom 85 online survey responses that were anonymously completed and submitted by working-level intelligence officers, as well as from four in-person interviews with executive leaders.
Pages in Document: 94 pages
 
 
Date of Publication: April 2013
Title: Game-Based Learning and Intelligence Analysis: Identifying Ideal Game Types for Teaching and Training Core Competencies
Author: Nicole Pillar
Primary Reader: Kristan J. Wheaton
Secondary Reader: William J. Welch
Brief: With regard to the Intelligence Community’s current challenges to educating and training younger generations of intelligence analysts, game-based learning (GBL) presents a promising alternative to traditional training methods. In order to determine whether GBL is capable of teaching intelligence analyst core competencies, the training potential of certain game types for teaching / training specific core competencies was examined.
Pages in Document: 115 pages
 
 
Date of Publication: January 2013
Title: Detecting Fraud in Publicly Traded Companies: Using Content Analysis to Identify Patterns of Fraud in Open Source Content
Author: David R. Krauza, II
Primary Reader: Shelly L. Freyn
Secondary Reader: Anne Zaphiris
Brief: Corporate fraud imposes significant financial costs on the United States economy each year. Using open source documents of publicly traded firms, this study applies content analysis in an attempt to detect indicators of fraudulent activity. Overall, the study implies that there are identifiable indicators of fraud in the open source content of publicly traded companies.
Pages in Document: 98 pages
 
 
Date of Publication: January 2013
Title: Detecting Fraud In Publicly Traded Companies: Using Content Analysis To Identify Patterns Of Fraud In Open Source Content
Author: David R. Krauza, II
Primary Reader: Shelly Freyn
Secondary Reader: Anne Zaphris
Brief: Corporate fraud imposes significant financial costs on the United States economy each year. Fraud comes in many forms and can be difficult to detect before the consequences of such activity have already occurred. Using open source documents of publicly traded firms, this study applies content analysis in an attempt to detect indicators of fraudulent activity. The Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Releases published by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) were utilized to identify fraudulent companies for the analysis. Unaudited narrative content from SEC regulatory filings, CEOs letters to shareholders, and transcripts of earnings calls of both fraudulent and control companies were then analyzed using CATPAC and WordStat software packages.
Semantic neural network analysis demonstrated that fraudulent companies have distinctly different themes that emerge in their content as compared to companies that have not been accused of fraud. Further analysis indicated relationships in financial sentiment keywords and statistically significant differences in the themes between companies. Finally, results indicate that the overall sentiment of the content from companies engaged in fraud is different from the content of the control group. Overall, the study implies that there are identifiable indicators of fraud in the open source content of publicly traded companies. It also appears that content analysis techniques may be useful in identifying companies that may be entering into fraudulent activities.
Pages in Document: 111 pages
 

 

2012

Date of Publication: August 2012
Title: Project Networks in Hollywood Using: Social Network Analysis to Forecast Blockbuster Teams
Author: Amanda A. Dodson
Primary Reader: Shelly L. Freyn
Secondary Reader: Stephen Zidek
Brief: This study uses Social Network Analysis (SNA) to calculate the centrality of film networks in order to forecast future teams with great potential to make a blockbuster film. Using BoxOfficeMojo.com and IMDB.com, data was gathered on the top ten domestic grossing films from 2007-2011. The producer(s), director(s), writer(s), and actors were charted on i2 Analyst’s Notebook which calculated betweeness, closeness, degree, and eigenvector centrality scores.
Pages in Document: 109 pages
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Date of Publication: August 2012
Title: Using Premortem Analysis in Intelligence Analysis: Testing a Form of Challenge Analysis and Its Impact on Forecasting Accuracy and Bias in Real-World Analysis
Author: Samuel B. Zuleger
Primary Reader: Kristan J. Wheaton
Secondary Reader: William J. Welch
Brief: This study experiments with Premortem Analysis in a double-blind experimentation of intelligence analysis of real-world issues where both participants and experimenter do not know the correct answers beforehand. The study used Intelligence Studies students as representatives for teams of analysts in an experiment where they provided estimates on a real-world situation. While findings on the technique’s impact on groupthink, anchoring bias, and overconfidence were limited, the findings on forecasting accuracy and confirmation bias were definitive. After using Premortem Analysis, overall forecasting accuracy decreased while there was also a reduction in confirmation bias.
Pages in Document: 107 pages
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Date of Publication: May 2012
Title: Overland Drug Trafficking on the Texas-Mexico Border: Young Males and Modified Vehicles
Author: Will A. Detert
Primary Reader: Dawn M. Wozneak
Secondary Reader: Orlandrew Danzell
Brief: This study sought to examine the issue of drug trafficking along the Texas-Mexico border by identifying the patterns in characteristics and modus operandi of individuals arrested with drugs at official points of entry in Texas. The research used a mixed method approach that analyzed 167 events gathered from Customs and Border Patrol press releases and public media sources.
Pages in Document: 71 pages
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Date of Publication: May 2012
Title: The Evolution of Augmented Reality Technology and Its Likely Impact on Intelligence Analysts and the United States Intelligence Community over the Next Ten Years
Author: Nicholas V. Dispenza
Primary Reader: Kristan J. Wheaton
Secondary Reader: James G. Breckenridge
Brief: While there is a substantial body of literature detailing current and future development of augmented reality (AR) and its component technologies, there is none regarding how intelligence analysts will likely want to utilize AR in their daily job over the next decade. This study discusses AR’s likely evolution and mainstream adoption by intelligence analysts over the next ten years from various business, political, regulatory, and technological (BPRT) factors.
Pages in Document: 220 pages
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Date of Publication: May 2012
Title: A Historical Analysis of Information Superiority on the Battlefield and Its Effects: A Military Case Study
Author: Byron G. Freund
Primary Reader: James G. Breckenridge
Secondary Reader: Kristan J. Wheaton
Brief: The following report illustrates the effectiveness of the United States military use of Information Superiority (I.S.) on the battlefield by using historical case studies and comparative analysis. The researcher measured the effectiveness of I.S. against the military’s prior military philosophy of Maneuver Warfare (M.W.). Using different variables including casualties, number of victories, budget costs, friendly fire incidents, and time, which the researcher collected from open source newspapers, government press releases, non-government organization and academic studies, and peer-reviewed magazines, the researcher was able to chart the differences statistically between the two strategies.
Pages in Document: 86 pages
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Date of Publication: May 2012
Title: The Limits of “Difference”: Cultural Awareness and Self-Reference Bias in National Security Intelligence Estimates
Author: Erin K. Innis
Primary Reader: Dawn M. Wozneak
Secondary Reader: James G. Breckenridge
Brief: There is no current drive to evaluate the methodology and accuracy of cultural assessments within the intelligence community. This thesis is a call to assess cultural attitudes and bias, if only to validate or explore cultural awareness’ influence within intelligence analysis. By combining anthropological definitions of culture, bias awareness, and theme trending United States national security estimates, this study highlights the value of cultural awareness as both a necessity in bias prevention and key component to thorough analysis.
Pages in Document: 73 pages
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Date of Publication: May 2012
Title: Assessing Qualities That Differentiate Easy Questions from Non-Easy Questions, as It Pertains to Intelligence Analysis
Author: Brian C. Manning
Primary Reader: Kristan Wheaton
Secondary Reader: William Welch
Brief: This thesis addresses a gap in the concept of quantifying the difficulty of intelligence-related questions. The researcher compared question-difficulty patterns to various characteristics of questions from the intelligence-oriented DAGGRE prediction market, seeking links. The researcher found no statistically significant links between question difficulty and question length (in terms or characters), average term length, subject phrase length, or active time on the DAGGRE prediction market.
Pages in Document: 60 pages
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Date of Publication: January 2012
Title: Interagency Cooperation and Competition under Democracies and Dictatorships
Author: David Warnacut
Primary Reader: James G. Breckenridge
Secondary Reader: Dawn M. Wozneak
Brief: This paper explores how intelligence agencies interact with other agencies in the same intelligence community and compares trends and patterns under democracies and dictatorships. The several models of intelligence sharing depicted in this paper would be of interest to those involved in intelligence reform. The paper shows how intelligence communities work together in other nations with similar values as well as how effective reforms have been in attempts to increase cooperation.
Pages in Document: 88 pages
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