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Identification and detection of human trafficking using language models

Author:
Published in:
European Intelligence and Security Informatics Conf., EISIC, 26-27 November 2019.

Summary

In this paper, we present a novel language model-based method for detecting both human trafficking ads and trafficking indicators. The proposed system leverages language models to learn language structures in adult service ads, automatically select a list of keyword features, and train a machine learning model to detect human trafficking ads. The method is interpretable and adaptable to changing keywords used by traffickers. We apply this method to the Trafficking-10k dataset and show that it achieves better results than the previous models that leverage both ad text and images for detection. Furthermore, we demonstrate that our system can be successfully applied to detect suspected human trafficking organizations and rank these organizations based on their risk scores. This method provides a powerful new capability for law enforcement to rapidly identify ads and organizations that are suspected of human trafficking and allow more proactive policing using data.
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Summary

In this paper, we present a novel language model-based method for detecting both human trafficking ads and trafficking indicators. The proposed system leverages language models to learn language structures in adult service ads, automatically select a list of keyword features, and train a machine learning model to detect human trafficking...

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Uncovering human trafficking networks through text analysis

Author:
Published in:
2019 Grace Hopper Celebration, 1-4 October 2019.

Summary

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery affecting an estimated 40 million victims worldwide, primarily through the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children. In the last decade, the advertising of victims has moved from the streets to websites on the Internet, providing greater efficiency and anonymity for sex traffickers. This shift has allowed traffickers to list their victims in multiple geographic areas simultaneously, while also improving operational security by using multiple methods of electronic communication with buyers; complicating the ability of law enforcement to disrupt these illicit organizations. In this presentation, we present a novel unsupervised template matching algorithm for analyzing and detecting complex organizations operating on adult service websites. We apply this method to a large corpus of adult service advertisements retrieved from backpage.com, and show that the networks identified through the algorithm match well with surrogate truth data derived from phone number networks in the same corpus. Further exploration of the results show that the proposed method provides deeper insights into the complex structures of sex trafficking organizations, not possible through networks derived from phone numbers alone. This method provides a powerful new capability for law enforcement to more completely identify and gather evidence about trafficking operations
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Summary

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery affecting an estimated 40 million victims worldwide, primarily through the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children. In the last decade, the advertising of victims has moved from the streets to websites on the Internet, providing greater efficiency and anonymity for sex...

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XLab: early indications & warning from open source data with application to biological threat

Published in:
Proc. 51st Hawaii Int. Conf. on System Sciences, HICSS 2018, pp. 944-953.

Summary

XLab is an early warning system that addresses a broad range of national security threats using a flexible, rapidly reconfigurable architecture. XLab enables intelligence analysts to visualize, explore, and query a knowledge base constructed from multiple data sources, guided by subject matter expertise codified in threat model graphs. This paper describes a novel system prototype that addresses threats arising from biological weapons of mass destruction. The prototype applies knowledge extraction analytics—including link estimation, entity disambiguation, and event detection—to build a knowledge base of 40 million entities and 140 million relationships from open sources. Exact and inexact subgraph matching analytics enable analysts to search the knowledge base for instances of modeled threats. The paper introduces new methods for inexact matching that accommodate threat models with temporal and geospatial patterns. System performance is demonstrated using several simplified threat models and an embedded scenario.
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Summary

XLab is an early warning system that addresses a broad range of national security threats using a flexible, rapidly reconfigurable architecture. XLab enables intelligence analysts to visualize, explore, and query a knowledge base constructed from multiple data sources, guided by subject matter expertise codified in threat model graphs. This paper...

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Detecting pathogen exposure during the non-symptomatic incubation period using physiological data

Summary

Early pathogen exposure detection allows better patient care and faster implementation of public health measures (patient isolation, contact tracing). Existing exposure detection most frequently relies on overt clinical symptoms, namely fever, during the infectious prodromal period. We have developed a robust machine learning based method to better detect asymptomatic states during the incubation period using subtle, sub-clinical physiological markers. Starting with highresolution physiological waveform data from non-human primate studies of viral (Ebola, Marburg, Lassa, and Nipah viruses) and bacterial (Y. pestis) exposure, we processed the data to reduce short-term variability and normalize diurnal variations, then provided these to a supervised random forest classification algorithm and post-classifier declaration logic step to reduce false alarms. In most subjects detection is achieved well before the onset of fever; subject cross-validation across exposure studies (varying viruses, exposure routes, animal species, and target dose) lead to 51h mean early detection (at 0.93 area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve [AUCROC]). Evaluating the algorithm against entirely independent datasets for Lassa, Nipah, and Y. pestis exposures un-used in algorithm training and development yields a mean 51h early warning time (at AUCROC=0.95). We discuss which physiological indicators are most informative for early detection and options for extending this capability to limited datasets such as those available from wearable, non-invasive, ECG-based sensors.
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Summary

Early pathogen exposure detection allows better patient care and faster implementation of public health measures (patient isolation, contact tracing). Existing exposure detection most frequently relies on overt clinical symptoms, namely fever, during the infectious prodromal period. We have developed a robust machine learning based method to better detect asymptomatic states...

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Use of mass spectrometric vapor analysis to improve canine explosive detection efficiency

Published in:
Anal. Chem., Vol. 89, 9 June 2017, 6482-90.

Summary

Canines remain the gold standard for explosives detection in many situations, and there is an ongoing desire for them to perform at the highest level. This goal requires canine training to be approached similarly to scientific sensor design. Developing a canine training regimen is made challenging by a lack of understanding of the canine's odor environment, which is dynamic and typically contains multiple odorants. Existing methodology assumes that the handler's intention is an adequate surrogate for actual knowledge of the odors cuing the canine, but canines are easily exposed to unintentional explosive odors through training material cross-contamination. A sensitive, real-time (~1 s) vapor analysis mass spectrometer was developed to provide tools, techniques, and knowledge to better understand, train, and utilize canines. The instrument has a detection library of nine explosives and explosive-related materials consisting of 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT), 2,6-dinitrotoluene (2,6-DNT), 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), nitroglycerin (NG), 1,3,5-trinitroperhydro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX), pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), triacetone triperoxide (TATP), hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD), and cyclohexanone, with detection limits in the parts-per-trillion to parts-per-quadrillion range by volume. The instrument can illustrate aspects of vapor plume dynamics, such as detecting plume filaments at a distance. The instrument was deployed to support canine training in the field, detecting cross-contamination among training materials, and developing an evaluation method based on the odor environment. Support for training material production and handling was provided by studying the dynamic headspace of a nonexplosive HMTD training aid that is in development. These results supported existing canine training and identified certain areas that may be improved.
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Summary

Canines remain the gold standard for explosives detection in many situations, and there is an ongoing desire for them to perform at the highest level. This goal requires canine training to be approached similarly to scientific sensor design. Developing a canine training regimen is made challenging by a lack of...

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Aircraft laser strike geolocation system

Published in:
17th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conf., 5-9 June 2017.

Summary

Laser strikes against aircraft are increasing at an alarming rate, driven by the availability of cheap powerful lasers and a lack of deterrence due to the challenges of locating and apprehending perpetrators. Although window coatings and pilot goggles effectively block laser light, uptake has been low due to high cost and pilot reluctance. This paper describes the development and testing of a proof-of-concept ground based sensor system to rapidly geolocate the origin of a laser beam in a protected region of airspace and disseminate this information to law enforcement to allow a timely and targeted response. Geolocation estimates with accuracies of better than 20 m have been demonstrated within 30 seconds of an event at a range of 8.9 nmi with a 450 mW laser. Recommendations for an operational prototype at an airport are also described.
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Summary

Laser strikes against aircraft are increasing at an alarming rate, driven by the availability of cheap powerful lasers and a lack of deterrence due to the challenges of locating and apprehending perpetrators. Although window coatings and pilot goggles effectively block laser light, uptake has been low due to high cost...

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Germanium CCDs for large-format SWIR and x-ray imaging

Summary

Germanium exhibits high sensitivity to short-wave infrared (SWIR) and X-ray radiation, making it an interesting candidate for imaging applications in these bands. Recent advances in germanium processing allow for high-quality charge-coupled devices (CCDs) to be realized in this material. In this article, we discuss our evaluation of germanium as an absorber material for CCDs via fabrication and analysis of discrete devices such as diodes, metal-insulator-semiconductor capacitors, and buried-channel metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs). We then describe fabrication of our first imaging device on germanium, a 32 x 1 x 8.1 um linear shift register. Based on this work, we find that germanium is a promising material for CCDs imaging in the SWIR and X-ray bands.
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Summary

Germanium exhibits high sensitivity to short-wave infrared (SWIR) and X-ray radiation, making it an interesting candidate for imaging applications in these bands. Recent advances in germanium processing allow for high-quality charge-coupled devices (CCDs) to be realized in this material. In this article, we discuss our evaluation of germanium as an...

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Detecting virus exposure during the pre-symptomatic incubation period using physiological data

Summary

Early pathogen exposure detection allows better patient care and faster implementation of public health measures (patient isolation, contact tracing). Existing exposure detection most frequently relies on overt clinical symptoms, namely fever, during the infectious prodromal period. We have developed a robust machine learning method to better detect asymptomatic states during the incubation period using subtle, sub-clinical physiological markers. Using high-resolution physiological data from non-human primate studies of Ebola and Marburg viruses, we pre-processed the data to reduce short-term variability and normalize diurnal variations, then provided these to a supervised random forest classification algorithm. In most subjects detection is achieved well before the onset of fever; subject cross-validation lead to 52±14h mean early detection (at >0.90 area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve). Cross-cohort tests across pathogens and exposure routes also lead to successful early detection (28±16h and 43±22h, respectively). We discuss which physiological indicators are most informative for early detection and options for extending this capability to lower data resolution and wearable, non-invasive sensors.
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Summary

Early pathogen exposure detection allows better patient care and faster implementation of public health measures (patient isolation, contact tracing). Existing exposure detection most frequently relies on overt clinical symptoms, namely fever, during the infectious prodromal period. We have developed a robust machine learning method to better detect asymptomatic states during...

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Characterization of nitrated sugar alcohols by atmospheric-pressure chemical-ionization mass spectrometry

Published in:
Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom., Vol. 33, 2017, pp. 333-43.

Summary

RATIONALE: The nitrated sugar alcohols mannitol hexanitrate (MHN), sorbitol hexanitrate (SHN) and xylitol pentanitrate (XPN) are in the same class of compounds as the powerful military-grade explosive pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) and the homemade explosive erythritol tetranitrate (ETN) but, unlike for PETN and ETN, ways to detect MHN, SHN and XPN by mass spectrometry (MS) have not been fully investigated. METHODS: Atmospheric-pressure chemical-ionization mass spectrometry (APCI-MS) was used to detect ions characteristic of nitrated sugar alcohols. APCI time-of-flight mass spectrometry (APCI-TOF MS) and collision-induced dissociation tandem mass spectrometry (CID MS/MS) were used for confirmation of each ion assignment. In addition, the use of the chemical ionization reagent dichloromethane was investigated to improve sensitivity and selectivity for detection of MHN, SHN and XPN. RESULTS: All the nitrated sugar alcohols studied followed similar fragmentation pathways in the APCI source. MHN, SHN and XPN were detectable as fragment ions formed by the loss of NO2, HNO2, NO3, and CH2NO2 groups, and in the presence of dichloromethane chlorinated adduct ions were observed. It was determined that in MS/MS mode, chlorinated adducts of MHN and SHN had the lowest limits of detection (LODs), while for XPN the lowest LOD was for the [XPN-NO2]- fragment ion. Partially nitrated analogs of each of the three compounds were also present in the starting materials, and ions attributable to these compounds versus those formed from in-source fragmentation of MHN, SHN, and XPN were distinguished and assigned using liquid chromatography APCI-MS and ESI-MS. CONCLUSIONS: The APCI-MS technique provides a selective and sensitive method for the detection of nitrated sugar alcohols. The methods disclosed here will benefit the area of explosives trace detection for counterterrorism and forensics.
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Summary

RATIONALE: The nitrated sugar alcohols mannitol hexanitrate (MHN), sorbitol hexanitrate (SHN) and xylitol pentanitrate (XPN) are in the same class of compounds as the powerful military-grade explosive pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) and the homemade explosive erythritol tetranitrate (ETN) but, unlike for PETN and ETN, ways to detect MHN, SHN and XPN...

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Biomimetic sniffing improves the detection performance of a 3D printed nose of a dog and a commercial trace vapor detector

Published in:
Scientific Reports, Vol. 6 , art. no. 36876, December 2016. DOI: 10.1038/srep36876.

Summary

Unlike current chemical trace detection technology, dogs actively sniff to acquire an odor sample. Flow visualization experiments with an anatomically-similar 3D printed dog's nose revealed the external aerodynamics during canine sniffing, where ventral-laterally expired air jets entrain odorant-laden air toward the nose, thereby extending the "aerodynamic reach" for inspiration of otherwise inaccessible odors. Chemical sampling and detection experiments quantified two modes of operation with the artificial nose-active sniffing and continuous inspiration-and demonstrated an increase in odorant detection by a factor of up to 18 for active sniffing. A 16-fold improvement in detection was demonstrated with a commercially-available explosives detector by applying this bio-inspired design principle and making the device "sniff" like a dog. These lessons learned from the dog may benefit the next-generation of vapor samplers for explosives, narcotics, pathogens, or even cancer, and could inform future bio-inspired designs for optimized sampling of odor plumes.
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Summary

Unlike current chemical trace detection technology, dogs actively sniff to acquire an odor sample. Flow visualization experiments with an anatomically-similar 3D printed dog's nose revealed the external aerodynamics during canine sniffing, where ventral-laterally expired air jets entrain odorant-laden air toward the nose, thereby extending the "aerodynamic reach" for inspiration of...

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