Computational Analysis in US Foreign and Defense Policy

Claudio Cioffi-Revilla and Sean P. O'Brien

Foreign and defense policy is typically affected by complex issues that can benefit from advanced social science methodologies. In this paper we identify a salient set of issues and the contribution—current and potential—that the main analytical approaches and methods from computational social science might bring to bear on such issues. The issues consist of terrorism, WMD proliferation, state failure, and global issues ranging from human rights to global change. The main computational methods consist of automated information extraction systems, social network analysis, social GIS, complexity modeling, and social simulation models. After a review of issues and methods, we discuss some present and future trends in the application of computational analysis to national security policy.

Subjects: 7.1 Multi-Agent Systems; 12.1 Reinforcement Learning

Submitted: Jun 20, 2008

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