Insurgent Rhetoric Analysis

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Collaborators: Dr. Mike Gabbay (PI)
Sponsors: Office of Naval Research (ONR)
We are automating the analysis of insurgent group rhetoric in a multi-disciplinary project that adopts techniques from text mining and combines them with political science expert knowledge and novel machine learning algorithms. In particular, we are interested in mapping the rhetorical constructs used by insurgent groups in areas of world conflict to an abstract ideological space, thereby assessing their propensities toward certain policies and actions. Currently we are researching ways to fuse data about the social interactions between the groups with rhetorical data such as press releases, speech transcripts, and web sites. We hypothesize that fusing these heterogenous sources of data increases the robustness of our predictions and allows a richer understanding of how inter-group dynamics influcence their rethoric. We are also interested in developing automated methods for tracking the evolution over time of the ideological propensities of each group, which enables one to track, and perhaps predict, the political landscape in areas of political and social unrest.