Dark Network Analysis
Dark networks such as terrorist networks and narcotics-trafficking networks are hidden from our view yet could have a devastating impact on our society and economy. Understanding the topology of these dark networks can reveal greater insight into these clandestine organizations and help develop effective disruptive strategies. Based on analysis of four real-world “dark” networks, we found that these covert networks share many common topological properties with other types of networks. Their efficiency in communication and flow of information, commands, and goods can be tied to their small-world structures characterized by small average path length (l) and high clustering coefficient (C). In addition, we found that because of the small-world properties, dark networks are more vulnerable to attacks on the bridges that connect different communities than to attacks on the hubs. This may provide authorities with insight for intelligence and security purposes. An interesting finding about the three human dark networks is their substantially high clustering coefficients, which are not always present in other empirical networks.
KeywordsPreferential Attachment Average Path Length Giant Component Crime Incident High Cluster Coefficient
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