Operations Research Methods for Activity Based Intelligence (ABI)

 26-29 April 2016 | MITRE, McLean, VA


Over the last decade, the concept of Activity Based Intelligence (ABI) has emerged as a guiding concept for some forms of intelligence analysis.  An observed lack of synchronization concerning ABI methods across key stakeholders (primarily within the IC and DOD) prompted the call for a workshop to help better align ABI efforts. 

Analysis in which the data has both geospatial and temporal components is a candidate for ABI.  For example, tracking vehicular and pedestrian traffic over time might lead analysts to uncover suspicious patterns that help shape future collection or operations.  The workshop focuses on ABI from an Operations Research, or Analytic Methodology, perspective.  This means that methods for data mining, natural language processing, network analysis, pattern recognition, and similar fields will be discussed.

Speakers Include:

• Dr. Gary Weir, NGA Historian
• Mr. Elmo “Mo” Wright, Analytic Modernization Lead at DIA
• Mr. Mike Foster, ABI Portfolio Manager at NGA
• Mr. Greg Treverton, NIC Chair, and author of ABI Primer
• Mr. John Cole, ABI Study Lead for ODNI
• And a host of ABI practitioners, many with nearly a decade of experience using ABI in counter-terrorism applications in the Middle East 

ABI is a multi-INT approach to activity and transactional data analysis to resolve unknowns, develop object and network knowledge, and drive collection. [DNI ABI COP]

The workshop is organized to address five questions:


1.      What is the lexicon for the ABI community?

2.      How can the ABI process be improved (from an ORSA perspective)?

3.      What OR tools are useful or needed to support ABI?

4.      What methods best translate ABI products into decision-support products?

5.      How can the ABI community better propose/build material solutions for ABI?

At the end of the workshop, participants will have a better appreciation of the character of ABI and of the methods and best practices that support its use.  A workshop report will provide feedback to the workshop proponents on the five questions, and thereby help leadership better synchronize ABI analysis.

The workshop will be held over three days, April 27-29 2016, at the MITRE facility in McLean VA.  Optional tutorials will be provided on April 26.  Sessions will be at the Secret & TS/SCI level.  The entire meeting will be limited to US citizens with clearances.

We will have two working groups to provide participants with different ways to learn and contribute:

WG-1  ABI Philosophy & Process – This working group will identify the driving principles and concepts associated with ABI.  What are the cornerstone architectural elements?  How do we measure success, effectiveness & performance of ABI operations?  How can we promote early adoption of new technologies?  Held at the TS/SCI level.    Chair: Sara Kerner, Lockheed Martin. Co-Chairs:  Stephen Ryan, Northrop Grumman 

WG-3  ABI Tools & ApplicationsThis working group will review ABI tools and methods currently in use, and then identify and evaluate potential new ways these tools could be applied, both inside and outside of the IC.  Specific presentations and examinations at the Tactical, operational, and strategic levels will guide the discussion.  Held at the Unclassified level.  Co-chairs: John Cole, NGA, john.c.cole@nga.mil; and Mike McVicar, USSTRATCOM, michael.r.mcvicar.ctr@stratcom.mil.


Tutorial option 2:The [Data] Science of Intelligence Analysis

This tutorial will be free for participants at the ABI workshop but a small fee for others interested in just the tutorial.  Participants will learn data science concepts that are essential to intelligence analysis, especially ABI, understand the four pillars of ABI from a data science perspective, and introduced to cutting-edge data methods suitable for ABI and other quantitative applications.  

If you are registered for the ABI workshop and would like to participate in this tutorial please contact Ms. Mariah Kelly at mariah.kelly@mors.org.

Course Description & Schedule

This course will be offered at the McLean Hilton, Dallas room on the lobby level.  

tutorial option 1: Essentials of Activity- Based Intelligence Tutorial

This free tutorial will be presented by Learning Tree.  This course is about an emerging analytic methodology called Activity-Based Intelligence, or ABI. It provides background on the history and evolution of ABI, an opportunity to experiment with core concepts in a limited capacity, and a perspective on future development and related trends.  This course has reached capacity. 

ABI Tutorial Description

ABI Tutorial Schedule

This tutorial will be offered at The Learning Tree location in Reston, VA.

Reston Education Center
1805 Library Street
Reston, VA 20190

Registration Fees


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