The Air Force Office of Scientific Research has funded a new research area that includes a study of blogs. The 3-year project entitled is “Automated Ontologically-Based Link Analysis of International Web Logs for the Timely Discovery of Relevant and Credible Information.”
Say that again three times fast.
Rather than getting long winded I’ll only excerpt a small portion that outlines one part of three by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research’s new Information Forensics and Process Integration research program.
One of the problems analysts may have with blog monitoring, Ulicny noted, is there is too much actionable information for the analyst to properly analyze.
“We are developing an automated tool to tell analysts what bloggers are most interested in at a point in time,” Ulicny said.
This analysis, Kokar said, is based on what Versatile Information Systems calls the RSTC approach to blog analysis – relevance, specificity, timeliness, and credibility. RSTC helps information analysts filter the most important information to study.
“Relevance involves developing a point of focus and information related to a particular focus,” Kokar said. Timeliness has to do with immediacy – how important is a topic now. “Credibility,” he continued, “is the amount of trust you have in an information source.”
If all this sounds like a search engine you would be right on the mark. Google, for example, compiles the number of times a term appears in a document. Because blogs tend to offer a wider variey of topics and are dissimilar from one to another this project aims to zero in on the more important sections of not onl;y what a blogger posts but what they link to.
“Blog entries have a different structure,” Ulicny said. “They are typically short and are about something external to the blog posting itself , such as a news event. It’s not uncommon for a blogger to simply state, ‘I can’t believe this happened,’ and then link to a news story.”
In this example, Ulicny said, there might not be much of interest in the blog posting, yet the fact that the blogger called attention to this story can be significant to understanding what matters.
Let the information wars
begin, er… continue.
It sounds like an interesting project, unfortunately it will be three years, if ever, we see any results fro it. (DISCLAIMER: Assuming the NYT doesn’t get wind of the classified results.)
One last thought: Wonder what happens when Air Force Office of Scientific Research’s new search bot begins crawling all over some of the left-wing blogs? I’m betting screams of “spying” and McCartyism” will be heard from both Coasts.