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What is Valcri?

 

Introduction to VALCRI

The forefront of crime analysis

At the cutting edge of intelligence-led policing, VALCRI is a semi-automated analysis system that helps find connections humans often miss. When pre-empting crime or investigating a case, it can be deployed by analysts to reconstruct situations, generate insights and discover leads.

Through autonomous work or collaboration with a human team, VALCRI creatively analyses data from a wide range of mixed-format sources. It displays its findings with easy-to-digest visualisations, comes up with possible explanations of crimes, and paves the way for rigorous arguments. Protecting against human error and bias, VALCRI works with objective intelligence, speed and precision.

The system with imagination

Some of history’s most devastating crimes have been put down to a lack of imagination in crime prevention systems. According to The 9/11 Commission Report, America’s “most important failure was one of imagination”. VALCRI makes this problem a thing of the past.

With a fluid yet rigorous approach to developing insights, VALCRI empowers analysts to consider a multitude of overlooked outcomes. By seeing from new perspectives and considering alternative routes, no stone is left unturned.

The future of intelligence-led policing

VALCRI fulfills what Jerry Ratcliffe, a leading professor of criminal justice, predicted as the future of intelligence-led policing. He suggested that crime intelligence would take the investigative, evidence-gathering processes of criminal intelligence and integrate them with the systematic, behavioural evaluations of crime analysis. As a result, crime intelligence would be able to both pre-empt crime and support the investigation of individual cases.

Building on the UK’s National Intelligence Model, VALCRI’s leading crime intelligence approach encourages analysts to work creatively and critically, analytically and inferentially. Whether used for statistical analysis or argument construction, it employs thinking and reasoning rather than simply focusing on data transactions.

How can VALCRI help you?

 

Navigate your data better

You’ll be able to quickly locate interesting or suspicious information from across numerous data sets. With a highly intelligent search function, you can go beyond keywords to retrieve material related to broader concepts.

If your request was to be told more about Marks and Spencers, for example, you wouldn’t just find information where the words ‘Marks and Spencers’ occur; you would be given information about directors, partner businesses, distribution channels and other meaningfully associated material.

And it doesn’t stop there. When it comes to organising large sets of data, VALCRI’s automated knowledge extraction and thematic clustering capabilities make it easy to find what you need. Analysts can apply set theory and set decomposition techniques to rapidly assemble information, come up with reasonings, and simplify complicated overlapping concepts.

Make use of historical data

An incredibly advanced system, VALCRI evolves as it gains access to more information and insights. Criminal profiling, historic crime data and signature discovery all play a part in the system’s ongoing optimisation and search capability.

New incoming data – static, streaming and multimodal – is analysed in real-time alongside existing information to help you define relevance and interestingness. The frequency of occurrences, smoothness of density curves and context-coherence of various features directly influence VALCRI’s automated abilities. Which means your analyses become more and more streamlined.

Clearly visualise information

People process visual information 60,000 times faster than words alone. With this in mind, VALCRI’s interface allows you to develop interactive visualisations to help explore data quickly and effectively at different abstraction levels.

You’re able to make your reasoning processes and other factors visible whilst interacting with and directly manipulating data and algorithms. As well as facilitating the presentation and discussion of varying points of view, this encourages the questioning of assumptions, the creation of alternative reasoning strategies, and the discovery of areas that need further investigation.

VALCRI helps you come to conclusions every step of the way, and can even recreate criminal events using spatial-temporal reconstructions. It brings together associated evidence and supporting data like socio-cultural concepts, influence hierarchies and relative proximities. And by visualising your information in this way, it makes your inquiries much more tangible than statistics and facts on a page.

What makes VALCRI so advanced?

 

It’s secure and creative

VALCRI’s distributed processing architecture is driven by high-level privacy and security requirements, meaning data is safe from theft and corruption. Computationally efficient, it’s secure, scalable and able to accommodate high-speed and high-volume data from a variety of sources.

In addition to being secure, VALCRI uses its data to create anonymised, machine-readable datasets. Based on real crimes, this synthetic information is highly valuable for developing general crime prevention theories. And it can also be used by the research community to facilitate ongoing advancements in security.

It’s a reasoning workspace

VALCRI’s interactive, visualisation-based user interface brings together three essential spaces:

  • A data exploration space where existing data and themes are compiled.
  • An analysis space where computational analyses of statistics and text are undertaken.
  • A hypothesis space where evidence is assembled into coherent arguments that lead to meaningful conclusions.

With VALCRI’s fluid interface, analysts can seamlessly transition from one space to another. And to minimise human error, VALCRI’s provenance recording methods keep track of human analytical reasoning processes.

It’s aware of human issues

As a human issues framework, VALCRI combines human cognition and technology to make sure investigations are always fit for purpose. It mitigates bias, considers social and legal factors, identifies issues to do with ethics and privacy, and examines how technology might hinder human sense-making.

It evolves over time

Cutting edge features like real-time semantic search, historic knowledge extraction and crime situation reconstruction are only the start of it. As VALCRI discovers more signatures and is exposed to more crime dat and criminal profiles, these features are automatically optimised. So the entire analysis process becomes more streamlined and effective.

VALCRI is funded by the European Commission

 

ec-logoVALCRI is an Integrating Project funded through the European Commission’s 7TH Framework Programme, Contract Number FP7-IP-608142, awarded to Middlesex University and Partners.

 

01logoProject Coordinator
Professor B.L. William Wong
Head Interaction Design Centre
School of Science and Technology
Middlesex University London
The Burroughs, Hendon
London NW4 4BT, United Kingdom.