We describe an application of a dynamic replanning technique in a highly dynamic and complex domain: the military aeromedical evacuation of patients to medical treatment facilities. U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) is the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) agency responsible for evacuating patients during wartime and peace. Doctrinally, patients requiring extended treatment must be evacuated by air to a suitable medical treatment facility. The Persian Gulf War was the first significant armed conflict in which this concept was put to a serious test. The results were far from satisfactory -- about 60 percent of the patients ended up at the wrong destinations. In early 1993, the DoD tasked USTRANSCOM to consolidate the command and control of medical regulation and aeromedical evacuation operations. The ensuing analysis led to TRAC2ES (TRANSCOM regulating and command and control evacuation system), a decision support system for planning and scheduling medical evacuation operations. Probably the most challenging aspect of the problem has to do with the dynamics of a domain in which requirements and constraints continuously change over time. Continuous dynamic replanning is a key capability of TRAC2ES. This article describes the application and the AI approach we took in providing this capability.
Bayesian inference has great promise for the privacy-preserving analysis of sensitive data, as posterior sampling automatically preserves differential privacy, an algorithmic notion of data privacy, under certain conditions (Dimitrakakis et al., 2014; Wang et al., 2015). While this one posterior sample (OPS) approach elegantly provides privacy "for free," it is data inefficient in the sense of asymptotic relative efficiency (ARE). We show that a simple alternative based on the Laplace mechanism, the workhorse of differential privacy, is as asymptotically efficient as non-private posterior inference, under general assumptions. This technique also has practical advantages including efficient use of the privacy budget for MCMC. We demonstrate the practicality of our approach on a time-series analysis of sensitive military records from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars disclosed by the Wikileaks organization.
In this paper we introduce SCARE — the Spatial Cultural Abductive Reasoning Engine, which solves spatial abduction problems (Shakarian, Subrahmanian, and Sapino 2009). We review results of SCARE for activities by Iranian-sponsored “Special Groups” (Kagan, Kagan, and Pletka 2008) operating throughout the Baghdad urban area and compare these findings with new experiments where we predict IED cache sites of the Special Groups in Sadr City. We find that by localizing the spatial abduction problem to a smaller area we obtain greater accuracy - predicting cache sites within 0.33 km as opposed to 0.72 km for all of Baghdad. We suspect that local factors of physical and cultural geography impact reasoning with spatial abduction for this problem.
We consider the problem of estimating the parameters of a Gaussian or binary distribution in such a way that the resulting undirected graphical model is sparse. Our approach is to solve a maximum likelihood problem with an added l_1-norm penalty term. The problem as formulated is convex but the memory requirements and complexity of existing interior point methods are prohibitive for problems with more than tens of nodes. We present two new algorithms for solving problems with at least a thousand nodes in the Gaussian case. Our first algorithm uses block coordinate descent, and can be interpreted as recursive l_1-norm penalized regression. Our second algorithm, based on Nesterov's first order method, yields a complexity estimate with a better dependence on problem size than existing interior point methods. Using a log determinant relaxation of the log partition function (Wainwright & Jordan (2006)), we show that these same algorithms can be used to solve an approximate sparse maximum likelihood problem for the binary case. We test our algorithms on synthetic data, as well as on gene expression and senate voting records data.
We describe an application of a dynamic replanning technique in a highly dynamic and complex domain: the military aeromedical evacuation of patients to medical treatment facilities. U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) is the DoD agency responsible for evacuating patients during wartime and peace. Doctrinally, patients requiring extended treatment must be evacuated by air to a suitable Medical Treatment Facility (MTF). The Persian Gulf war was the first significant armed conflict in which this concept has been put to a serious test. The results were far from satisfactory -- about 60% of the patients ended up at the wrong destinations.