Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The police ignored them, but this algorithm is not: it is capable of finding serial killers

The police ignored them, but this algorithm is not: it is capable of finding serial killers

Some of you may have seen ' Moneyball ' the movie that told the story of how statistical data analysis had changed the world of baseball. Well, this type of analysis not only offers revolutions in that segment, but also in others as unique as that of criminal investigations.

This is what Thomas Hargrove has shown, a man who has been a data scientist all his life (even if that was not his name) and who has created a very special algorithm. His program studies all sorts of unsolved murders and manages to find patrons where the police can not find them to spot potential serial killers.

An algorithm that draws on Big Data
Hargrove has been working for years on a project that has crystallized with the creation of the Murder Accountability Project (MAP), a service that allows access to public information of the FBI in a simple way and that tries to help not only the police bodies but also to Who investigate murder cases.

The police ignored them, but this algorithm is not: it is capable of finding serial killers

The project was crystallized from the studies of a Hargrove that after analyzing data never studied on this subject. In fact it is ironic, but neither the FBI - which tried to create something similar to its ViCAP - nor the different police departments in the United States pay too much attention to that data. These departments not only do not trust this data too much: they do not share theirs with other departments and security bodies either in the same state or in different departments.

That is precisely what MAP is trying to solve, a system that not only serves to help this purpose, but also serves as a denunciation for the police forces to drive the resolution of cases. One would say that technology has made more effective resolutions of murder cases, but the truth is that fewer and fewer cases are solved.

The MAP recently reported how in Illinois, for example, there were 756 homicides in 2015, and they were only resolved - a suspect was found, no matter how the trial ended - 37.3%, the lowest The United States, where the average rate was 61.5%. Chicago, Illinois, for example, is one of the cities where homicide rates are growing more sharply.

Hargrove hopes that the MAP will enable law enforcement agencies to begin to realize that data are far more useful than they appear to be, especially when they are shared and contrasted. For him, this project can serve to " be able to solve a murder in a collaborative way."

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