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This algorithm can help predict next terror attack

London : Turning to math and social media to protect us from a possible terrorist strike, a team of researchers has come up with an algorithm that they think might predict potential attacks.

Physicist Neil Johnson of the University of Miami led a team that created a mathematical model to sift order from the chaotic pro-terrorism online universe, the New York Times reported.

In the study, the team searched for pro-Islamic State posts each day from mid-2014 until August 2015, mining mentions of beheadings and blood baths in multiple languages on Vkontakte, Europe’s largest Russia-based social network site.

Ultimately, they devised an equation that tries to explain the activity of Islamic State sympathizers online and might, they say, eventually help predict attacks that are about to happen.

Experts who study terrorism and online communication said that the new research was informative and that they appreciated that the authors would make their data available to other researchers.

However, they cautioned that the actions of terrorist groups are extremely difficult to anticipate and said more information was needed, especially to substantiate any predictive potential of the team’s equation.

“This is an interesting approach, this is a potentially valuable approach, and more research should be done on the approach,” said co-author J. M. Berger, adding “But to jump ahead to the utility of it, I think, takes more work.” (ANI)