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Let me try out a thought with this group.  Predicting where an electron
is going to be at any instant is a statistical exercise, and carries
with it a certain measurable variability.  I don't want to strain the
metaphor, but a human network also changes (albeit a bit more slowly)
and predicting "where" an individual is going to be is also subject to
numerous sources of variation.  It may be that networks are great tools
for understanding the context in which persons are embedded, but not a
great tool for specifying exactly what any individual is going to be or
do.  In the area of disease dynamics and transmission, for example,
predicting who in a network will actually get HIV (or some other
transmissible disease) is problematic, as opposed to predicting which
individuals may be a greater risk because of their personal decisions
and network occupancy.

If this is a reasonable thought, than it casts the notion of "targeting
individuals" in a different light.  To be specific, targeting persons
may not make a lot of sense, and the results of "removing" a person from
a criminal network may or may not have the desired impact.  My guess is
that it won't, and that empty central positions are a vacuum just
waiting to be filled.  (In Iraq, there have been frequent announcements
that the second in command has been caught, but their capture seems to
have had little effect on the insurgency.)  But just as important, the
ethical and IRB implications--which are moot to begin with, and largely
a byproduct of the power IRBs have amassed--can also be cast in a
different light.

Rich Rothenberg

Jochen Möbert wrote:

>*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>
>See also Ballester, Calvo-Armengol, Zenou (2005)
>
>
>
>>--- Ursprüngliche Nachricht ---
>>Von: Charles Kadushin <[log in to unmask]>
>>An: [log in to unmask]
>>Betreff: Re: Targeting critical nodes in criminal  networks
>>Datum: Wed, 12 Oct 2005 10:12:18 -0400
>>
>>*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>>
>>See also Social Networks, Vol 27, # 2. An entire issue is devoted to the
>>ethical problems of social network research, including the targeting of
>>individuals.
>>
>>Sam Friedman wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>>*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>>>
>>>** High Priority **
>>>
>>>There is a potential major and real Institutional Review Board (Ethics
>>>Committee) problem here for any academic or other researcher.
>>>Furthermore, it is one that could "explode" and become a problem for all
>>>network researchers.
>>>
>>>This is the problem of third party consent.  In any research project,
>>>under the Belmont Code and other related codes, those about whom data is
>>>collected have the right of informed consent.  There has been a lot of
>>>discussion, including on this list serve, of how this issue could
>>>essentially shut down network research.
>>>
>>>The problem is that, in this research, data are being gathered about
>>>these "nodal" criminals in order to target them for punishment.  This is
>>>"doing harm" of a major kind--and without their consent.
>>>
>>>I think this requires serious discussion before any researcher gets
>>>involved with a project of the sort being described here.  It could have
>>>very serious consequences for all of us.
>>>
>>>best
>>>sam
>>>
>>>
>>>Sam Friedman
>>>National Development and Research Institutes
>>>71 West 23d Street, 8th floor
>>>New York, NY 10010
>>>USA
>>>1 212 845 4467
>>>Fax 1 917 438 0894
>>>[log in to unmask]
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>>>Min Hein <[log in to unmask]> 10/11/2005 4:23:41 PM >>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>>>
>>>           Paul Ormerod, the author of butterfly economics, has
>>>been working on the network structure of criminal groups. He
>>>has a website in which you can find a few of his working
>>>papers on the subject including "Scaling Behaviour in the
>>>Number of Criminal Acts Committed by Individuals". I hope that
>>>they would be helpful to your research.
>>>
>>>sincerely,
>>>
>>>Min
>>>
>>>
>>>Quoting "Schwartz, Daniel (JUS)" <[log in to unmask]>:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>>>>
>>>>Hi All,
>>>>
>>>>I'm looking for persons with experience in, or knowledge about, using
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>SNA to
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>target critical nodes in criminal networks.  For instance, given a
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>particular
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>criminal network, with myriad connections between actors, I'd like to
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>use SNA
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>to help determine which actor(s) should be targeted by law
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>enforcement to
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>cause the most damage to the criminal network.  The basic idea here
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>would be
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>target actors that provide the "most bang for the buck."
>>>>
>>>>If anyone is aware of any papers on this topic, or if anyone has
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>engaged in
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>this type of research, I would love to hear from you.
>>>>
>>>>Thanks!  Dan
>>>>
>>>>Daniel Schwartz, Ph.D. (Political Science, University of Toronto)
>>>>Intelligence Analyst, Government of Ontario
>>>>ph: 416-679-2109
>>>>cell: 416-676-4956
>>>>fax: 416-679-2102
>>>>email:[log in to unmask]
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>_____________________________________________________________________
>>>
>>>
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>>>--
>>>
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>>>
>>--
>>
>>Charles Kadushin
>>Distinguished Scholar, Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies
>>Visiting Research Professor Sociology
>>Brandeis University
>>
>>212-865-4369
>>
>>http://www.cmjs.org//
>>
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--
Richard Rothenberg, MD
Professor, Department of Medicine
Division of Infectious Disease
Emory University School of Medicine
Editor, Annals of Epidemiology
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