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Tipping Points, Butterflies, and Black Swans: A Vision for Spatio -temporal Data Mining Analysis

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Tipping Points, Butterflies, and Black Swans: A Vision for Spatio -temporal Data Mining Analysis Dr. James M. Kang and Daniel L. Edwards InnoVision Basic and Applied Research Office National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency August 24, 2011. Approved for Public Release 11-412. Vision.

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Tipping Points, Butterflies, and Black Swans: A Vision for Spatio-temporal Data Mining Analysis

Dr. James M. Kang and Daniel L. Edwards

InnoVision Basic and Applied Research Office

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

August 24, 2011

Approved for Public Release 11-412

vision
Vision
  • The development of data mining and spatio-temporal analytical techniques to discover tipping-points, butterflies, and black swans.

Approved for Public Release 11-412

what are tipping points
What are Tipping Points?
  • “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point” – M. Gladwell

Climate Tipping Point, Upsala Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina(Source: http://www.changeclimate.org/)

Approved for Public Release 11-412

what is the butterfly effect
What is the Butterfly Effect?
  • Behavior of dynamic systems
    • Highly sensitive to initial conditions – J. Gleck
    • Involve topologically mixing – B. Hasselblatt

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2011/mar/22/middle-east-protest-interactive-timeline

Approved for Public Release 11-412

what are black swans
What are Black Swans?
  • Unpredictable patterns that do not appear to be Gaussian with an exponential diminishing tail, but a flatter curve with tails that are fatter
  • Have the following characteristics:
    • The event is a surprise (to the observer).
    • The event has a major impact.
    • After its first recording, the event is rationalized by hindsight, as if it could have been expected.
  • – N. Taleb

Approved for Public Release 11-412

challenges
Challenges

Approved for Public Release 11-412

tipping point challenges
Tipping Point Challenges
  • Assumptions about a dataset may change before and after a tipping point event
  • Tobler’s Law vs. Teleconnections

Approved for Public Release 11-412

butterfly effect challenges
Butterfly Effect Challenges
  • Bounding problem with sufficiency
  • Depth – sufficient data to mine vs. scope of problem?
  • Breadth - breadth of data sufficient to sample problem?
  • Missing – key data/meta data missing?
  • Stability - of mined patterns?

Approved for Public Release 11-412

black swan challenges
Black Swan Challenges
  • As a Black Swan unfolds,
    • Mined patterns over populations and time may not become “interesting”
    • May not be prevalent or anomalous
  • After a Black Swan is recognized (hindsight),
    • Bounding sufficiency may be too complex to overcome
    • May not generalize to other known black swans

Approved for Public Release 11-412

first and next steps
First and Next Steps
  • Tipping Points
    • Existing literature in abrupt changes, transitions, etc.
    • Transient vs. Persistent
  • Butterflies and Black Swans
    • Can these be generalized?
    • Are these even possible?
    • How can we begin quantifying these events?
  • Example Datasets
    • Guardian’s event dataset of middle-east
    • CIA World Factbook dataset

Source: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/

Approved for Public Release 11-412

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www.nga.mil

Approved for Public Release 11-412

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