Opening the Door to ABI

USGIF’s ABI Working Group develops unclassified data set


USGIF’s Activity-Based Intelligence Working Group (ABIWG) is using GEOINT 2013* Symposium activity to develop an unclassified ABI data set that will be available to USGIF members for tool development and demonstrations.

Since launching in late 2012, the ABIWG has grown considerably to include representatives from 64 companies and organizations. The group also hosts at-capacity flash talks and forums. The next classified ABI forum is scheduled for July 24-25 at Heritage Conference Center in Chantilly, Va.

The main objective of the data set is to make the ABI market more attainable for small companies without access to the type of data necessary to develop ABI solutions, most of which is classified.

“The whole point of the working group is to be a connections tool between industry and government, and unfortunately the government—out of habit and a lot of other related restrictions—tends to talk to the people that they’re currently talking to,” said Jeff DeTroye, co-chair of the ABIWG and vice president of special programs for Analytical Graphics Inc. “They don’t hear as much from the smaller companies or the companies that don’t have much in the way of security clearances. Those companies have great ideas, but they don’t have anything to bounce their ideas off of. The larger companies with access to classified data already have data sets to work with.”

In addition to USGIF members, the data set may also prove useful for academic institutions.

“USGIF is a great vehicle to collect and provide research data,” said Erf Porter, ABIWG co-chair and special programs manager with MITRE Corp.

The ABIWG invited attendees to opt in for anonymous RFID tag tracking while in the GEOINT 2013* exhibit hall, and also gathered data via three cameras positioned throughout the hall. More than 600 people elected to wear an RFID tag, while both the professional event photographers and the ABIWG cameras gathered more than 30,000 photographs of exhibit hall activity. The ABIWG also collected social media data associated with GEOINT 2013*, and the Naval Post-graduate School shared with the working group LiDAR data it collected in the exhibit hall.

Some examples of information that could be derived from the data include : Who is an exhibitor vs. an attendee? How many populations were present at the event and who is a member of which? What sort of traffic anomalies occurred in the hall? Such scenarios are analogous to red force vs. blue force tracking and other ABI problem sets.

Although originally intended for smaller companies, larger companies have already expressed interest in the unclassified data set, according to DeTroye.

“It’s going to be a very interesting data set to explore,” DeTroye said. “It will be able to address a lot of issues that are in the ABI hard problems list in a way that’s much less constraining than any classified data set you may have acquired.”

The ABIWG anticipates the data set will be available in June to any USGIF member organization along with guidelines to ensure individual identities and personal information is protected.

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