Besides the Middlesex University, there are three other partners in the research consortium: City University (principle investigator), Loughborough University, and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (dstl).
The project aims to design and develop novel Visual Analytics techniques to address the data quality and uncertainty issues commonly encountered in Social Media analysis. Examples of such issues include the reliability of data source, errors and missing data, artefacts introduced by the analysis algorithms, and human bias in the decision making process. An important part to the solution will be the ‘provenance’, which is the detailed information of the entire decision making life cycle from data collection to reasoning and sense making. Provenance is expected to play a key role in identifying and tracking the data quality and uncertainty issues mentioned previously.
The initial application will be Human Terrain Analysis that provides Army troops with social insights into local population by integrative analysis of social media (e.g., Twitter) together with a range of other intelligence information (e.g., demographics). The results of Human Terrain Analysis will allow the ground troops to choose the appropriate engagement strategy with local communities and avoid any unnecessary confrontation and loss of life. The research outcomes are expected to later extend to other domains such cyber security, finance, and public health.