AAAI Publications, Twenty-Fifth International FLAIRS Conference

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Graph-Based Anomaly Detection Applied to Homeland Security Cargo Screening
William Eberle, Lawrence Holder, Beverly Massengill

Last modified: 2012-05-16


Protecting our nation’s ports is a critical challenge for homeland security and requires the research, development and deployment of new technologies that will allow for the efficient securing of shipments entering this country. Most approaches look only at statistical irregularities in the attributes of the cargo, and not at the relationships of this cargo to others. However, anomalies detected in these relationships could add to the suspicion of the cargo, and therefore improve the accuracy with which we detect suspicious cargo. This paper proposes an improvement in our ability to detect suspicious cargo bound for the U.S. through a graph-based anomaly detection approach. Using anonymized data received from the Department of Homeland Security, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach and its usefulness to a homeland security analyst who is tasked with uncovering illegal and potentially dangerous cargo shipments.


graphs; anomaly detection; homeland security

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