News from the Department
Atrocity Forecasting Project website goes live
5 September, 2012
The website of the Atrocity Forecasting Project led by Ben Goldsmith is now live.
The website is based on two years of work with co-chief investigator Prof. Arcot Sowmya (UNSW) on the project “Understanding and Forecasting Political Instability, Mass Atrocities, and Genocide: Combining Social Science and Machine Learning Approaches”, funded by AusAID via the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect at the University of Queensland. Three Research Associates were crucial to the project’s work: Charles Butcher (PhD 2011, Sydney), Ulla Fionna (PhD 2009, Sydney), and Dimitri Semenovich (PhD Candidate, UNSW)
The project’s main goal was to develop a quantitative forecasting model for genocide and politicide. The website contains the group’s forecast of the 15 most at-risk countries over the period 2011-15 (based on the most recent available data to 2010). It gives an overview of the modelling approach and methods for evaluating forecast reliability. It also contains two reports aimed at policy makers and analysts, and links to some of the project’s academic papers.
The project has attracted some media attention, and presentations on the forecasting method and results have been given to government and think-tank audiences in Australia (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade), the U.S. (Council on Foreign Relations), and Europe (International Crisis Group).