Asset Publisher
Mapping Dark Maritime Networks

This research will apply community detection and database algorithms in order to identify subgroups of vessels of interest, owners, operators, ports, cargoes, and specific activities associated with artificial reef enhancement and construction in the South China Sea. This data will be used to develop visual two and three dimensional topologic/sociogram depictions of the dark maritime network that connects these nodes (ships, events, organizations, ports, activities) so that metrics of centrality, density, cohesiveness/structural holes, and clustering can be longitudinally measured and integrated into standard Maritime Domain Awareness systems (e.g. SEAVISION, AIS) to improve tracking capability. These social network matrices will be dynamically updated by open source data bases to provide real-time awareness and tracking for operational purposes.

The focus of this research will be on the identification and tracking of agents-members (vessels, owners/operators, port facilities, cargoes) of the dark maritime network. Social network analysis matrices will result in graphical depiction and analysis of network topologies and sociograms of the dark maritime network that supports reef enhancement activities in the South China Sea. The data in the dark network matrix will be populated by, and dynamically updated through, the integration of unclassified data base information with near-real time data using algorithms developed as part of the research. The application of social network analysis and open source data base integration for the identification, mapping and tracking of vessels, owners/operators, facilities, activities and cargoes associated with artificial reef construction and enhancement in the South China Sea could significantly increase situational awareness and enhance SEVENTH FLEET operational capability to monitor and/or disrupt this highly sensitive activity.
NPS Naval Research Program
NPS Naval Research Program