Could maths predict the next 9/11? When computer scientists decided to study the severity and frequency of 30,000 terror attacks worldwide, they found a distinctive pattern hiding in the data. Now maths has become the latest weapon in the fight against terror. http://bbc.in/1CPSiNS
Dr Hannah Fry investigates the hidden patterns behind terrorism and asks whether mathematics could be used to predict the next 9/11. When computer scientists decided to study the severity and frequency of 30,000 terrorist attacks worldwide, they found an distinctive pattern hiding in the data. Even though the events spanned 5,000 cities in 187 countries over 40 years, every single attack fitted neatly onto a curve, described by an equation known as a 'power law'.
Now this pattern is helping mathematicians and social scientists understand the mechanisms underlying global terrorism. Could these modelling techniques be used to predict if, and when, another attack the size of 9/11 will occur?
Hanching Chung反對簡單的數學模式作預測者說，它容易流於false positive： A test result that returns True when in fact the result should be False. A FalsePositive test result indicates a fault with the test procedure rather than a fault with the product under test. http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?FalsePositive