Mind the gap: using analytics to uncover hidden fraudsters and accelerate investigations

Cooper, Tim (2015) Mind the gap: using analytics to uncover hidden fraudsters and accelerate investigations. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Social Network Analysis has long been used by analysts to measure and extrapolate hypotheses to support the investigation of criminal activity. However, whilst a proven and effective measurement of the strengths and dynamics of social relationships, it pre-supposes that a complete social network exists. Criminal networks are, by definition, much more covert with hidden but powerful brokers deliberately obfuscating their activity to avoid detection. This concealment has a detrimental effect on the credibility of the results of Social Network Analysis. This dissertation evaluates a new analytical approach: Find Connecting Network, to help identify the brokers and influencers that reside in the gaps or holes in the criminal networks. Importantly, as well as understanding the isolated value of the analytic, it also attempts to take into account its level of complementarity to Social Network Analysis. The holistic impact on the working practices of contemporary analysts is also considered. Semi-structured interviews were completed with a number of experienced analysts and domain experts to understand the value of the tool in the context of the investigation process. The research found tangible value in the use of Find Connecting Network to quickly identify possible targets for investigation that would not be identified using Social Network Analysis. The findings also point to valuable and complementary workflow and capabilities offered by the two analytical approaches.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2016 12:25
    Last Modified: 18 Mar 2016 12:25
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/20299

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