Sunday, 4 September 2011

Catching a Criminal using Factor Analysis ;)

Imagination runs wild. Especially when you are hungry, sleepy or both! 7:30 p.m on a Sunday evening- I was all of that and more. So if this blog seems crazy you would know where i am coming from ;) So while we were having a serious discussion on factor analysis and how it is done i kept thinking about this crime novel by Ian Rankin i had read a few days back. And i started thinking- What if the detective could conduct a Factor analysis and zero in on that one important clue that can solve the mystery. Would have made everyone’s life so much simpler!

Most crime scenes tell a story. And like most stories, crime scenes have characters, a plot, a beginning, middle, and hopefully, a conclusion. However, in contrast to authors who lead their readers to a predetermined ending, the final disposition of a crime scene depends on the investigators assigned to the case. The investigators' abilities to analyze the crime scene and to determine the who, what, how, and why govern how the crime scene story unfolds.

To ensure a satisfactory ending, that is, the apprehension and prosecution of the violent crime offender, investigators must realize that the outcome depends on their insight into the dynamics of human behaviour. Speech patterns, writing styles, verbal and nonverbal gestures, and other traits and patterns give shape to human behaviour. These individual characteristics work in concert to cause each person to act, react, function, or perform in a unique and specific way. This individualistic behaviour usually remains consistent, regardless of the activity being performed.

Since the commission of a violent crime involves all the dynamics of "normal" human behaviour, learning to recognize crime scene manifestations of behavioural patterns would enable investigators to discover much about the offender. It also provides a means by which investigators can distinguish between different offenders committing the same types of offense.

As per Wikipedia “Factor analysis is a statistical method used to describe variability among observed variables in terms of a potentially lower number of unobserved variables called factors

In other words, it is possible, for example, that variations in three or four observed variables mainly reflect the variations in a single unobserved variable, or in a reduced number of unobserved variables.

Putting it in context an investigator can use factor analysis to zero in on some specific individualistic behavioral traits and move a step closer towards identifying the criminal.

I hope the explanation made some sense to the reader. In case of any doubts you can contact me at 9611328631 :D

That more or less sums up my Business Analytics “experience” for today. Hope to share more such thoughts in future.



Author- Ankush Roy 13068

No comments:

Post a Comment