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  • Defense R&D Support Activities

    Semantic Analysis Tool

    Automated software tool capable of reviewing large datasets
    consisting of written documents

    Detecting and graphically displaying underlying trends and discussion
    topics that are of interest to the analyst

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    • The visualization tool resides in the web browser – no local install.
    • Remote user interested in determining:
      • Who’s been emailing with whom lately?
      • What topics or concepts are they talking about?
      • How has the email traffic of a person or a group of his friends changed over time.
      • Who has been receiving an unusual amount of traffic?
      • Who has been ‘in the loop’ of an unusual amount of traffic?
      • Analysis can be saved and shared with other analysts at a later time.
    • Can generate and store a log that describes the actions taken by an analyst so that analyses can be reproduced.
    • Report generation - the tool graphs or tables of statistics to be used as output for analysis. Statistics and network descriptions will be given in tabular form for ease of presentation.
  • Unlike traditional monitoring software that searches for specific keywords or phrases, the Semantic Visualization Tool accomplishes this task by combining Social Network Analysis (SNA) which is an “approach to analyzing organisations focusing on the relationships between people and/or groups”, and Latent Semantic Analysis (SA) techniques - which is related to linguistic syntactic structure and natural language processing. Thus this tool actually 'reads' emails to determine what topic(s) the authors are discussing. This is much more useful than simply searching for reserve words or phases (which the SVT is also able to do), which can easily be defeated by using simple code word substitution.

    The tool works by first reading in/monitoring email traffic and then displays a visual graph the email distribution. Operators can instantly see 'who is sending emails to whom'. Insight is then gained into the organization of this email distribution by using Semantic Analysis and Social Network Analysis techniques to discover underlying social relationships and semantic content (meaning) of the emails.

    Industry Applications

    While the SVT was developed for email security monitoring, owing to its SNA and SA capabilities, it has diverse and broad ranging applications:

    • Financial industry (identifying trends, discussion topics)
    • Scholarly research (lawyers, journalists, or academic researchers who need a tool to help scan through large corpora etc.)
    • Market research (identifying trends, discussion topics)
    • Public security (monitoring of communication/network traffic, as well as the text of the emails themselves.)
    • Market research (identifying trends, discussion topics)
    • Enhancing C2 systems efficiency
  • In 2010 Array Systems was awarded a contract by Defense Research Development Canada (DRDC) to develop the Semantic Visualization Tool (SVT) - an automated software tool for acquiring, processing, and monitoring email communications. The purpose of this tool was to develop a piece of software capable of aiding analysts in monitoring/reviewing large datasets and then detecting underlying trends and discussion topics.