IARPA RFI: Emerging Events and Participating Entities

IARPA looks for creative ideas on the representation of emerging events and their participants, especially events that involve individual or small groups.

IARPA LogoThe Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) often selects its research efforts through the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) process.

IARPA has issued a Request for Information (RFI), “Emerging Events and Participating Entities: Knowledge Representation and Reasoning with Uncertainty and over Time”, that may be of particular interest to you.

The RFI is asking for creative ideas about the representation of emerging events and their participants as reported in full text. Of interest are events that involve individual or small group participants as opposed to societal events.

Please go to the IARPA website, http://www.iarpa.gov/RFI/rfi_emergingevents.html , to view the RFI, IARPA-RFI-14-05.

Feel free to share with this your colleagues.

Problem Background & Scope

Trying to keep our nation secure involves, in part, trying to identify emerging and evolving events. Given the sea of information that analysts must navigate daily, identifying activities of interest is a huge challenge. Current tools and technologies do a reasonable job of identifying facts of interest in data (e.g., person names, organizations, locations) but cannot reliably identify the events and activities that link these facts together. Some technologies have tried to identify unnamed events in data (i.e., those that represent actions or activities that are unfolding) by identifying all the verbs in a document but relating those "events" to one another and merging "events" across documents have met with little success. Being able to identify and track events over time would provide insight into events that are unfolding and the entities that participate in them.

One challenge to the success of identifying events, however, is that event is not clearly defined. Events at the highest level (e.g., a presidential inauguration) have component elements. Precursor events take place long before the major event takes place. Planning takes place; permission is obtained; decisions are made; purchases are made; participants can come and go. Each of these activities is an event. Events can also be linked to other events. Preparatory events can be predecessors of many types of higher level events.

Events also happen over time; they emerge. Activities build on each other, creating a hierarchy of elements and actions. The difficulty with event emergence is that it is characterized by uncertainty because there are rarely explicit references in data to what the end goal of the unfolding process is. Identifying and understanding time and reasoning about the emergence of events and the sequencing of activities are extremely difficult.

New Approaches and New Technologies Needed - for more information visit http://www.iarpa.gov/RFI/rfi_emergingevents.html