Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Predicting burglary patterns through math modeling of crime

Date:
May 31, 2012
Source:
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
Summary:
Pattern formation in physical, biological, and sociological systems has been studied for many years. One area where it has been of growing interest is in crime modeling.

Pattern formation in physical, biological, and sociological systems has been studied for many years. Despite the fact that these subject areas are completely diverse, the mathematics that describes underlying patterns in these systems can be surprisingly similar. Mathematical tools can be used to study such systems and predict their patterns.

Related Articles


One area where the study of pattern formation has been of growing interest is in crime modeling. It has been observed that criminal activity tends to cluster in space and time in urban settings. Analyzing spatio-temporal patterns of urban crime using mathematical modeling can reveal hidden patterns in the process of criminal activity, and potentially help establish methods for prevention.

The authors of a paper published this month in the SIAM Journal on Mathematical Analysis analyzed pattern formation as a model to predict burglaries. The rate of burglaries tends to be higher for houses that have been burglarized before or are close neighbors of those that have been burglarized. This leads to the creation of burglary hotspots. Authors Steve Cantrell, Chris Cosner, and Raϊl Manαsevich propose a model to generate patterns that would describe the specific location of such hotspots.

"Our research provides a mathematically rigorous way of connecting the geographical characteristics of a neighborhood [such as demographics, economics and ecology] to the patterns of burglary that would be seen in the neighborhood," says lead author Steve Cantrell. "Bringing geography into the model is an important step in understanding the model in realistic situations."

"Our work was inspired by models of burglary patterns that were developed by a group of mathematicians and scientists at UCLA," he goes on to explain. The UCLA group analyzed the dynamics of burglary hotspots based on the assumption that criminal agents strike based on a house's "attractiveness value."

The attractiveness value is a measure of how easily a house can be burgled without negative consequences for the burglar. Thus, when a house has been burglarized before, it increases the attractiveness value for the house and those nearby. Criminal agents move toward areas of high attractiveness values. If no additional burglaries occur in the vicinity, the attractiveness decreases.

Mathematical modeling of crime in general, and burglaries in particular, is based on the "broken window effect" or repeat victimization sociological effect, which implies that houses in areas of past burglaries have a higher chance of being burglarized.

Using two discrete models, one modeling the attractiveness of individual houses to burglars and the other modeling burglar movement, the authors of the UCLA study developed a continuum model based on a system of parabolic differential equations. Using this system as a starting point, the authors apply bifurcation theory, or the analysis of a system of ordinary differential equations under varying conditions, such as social or economic conditions of a neighborhood, to extend the scope of analysis. This paper expands on previous analyses and provides a general method to track social, economic or other conditions of a neighborhood over time.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Robert Stephen Cantrell, Chris Cosner, Raul Manasevich. Global Bifurcation of Solutions for Crime Modeling Equations. SIAM Journal on Mathematical Analysis, 2012; 44 (3): 1340 DOI: 10.1137/110843356

Cite This Page:

Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. "Predicting burglary patterns through math modeling of crime." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120531145804.htm>.
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. (2012, May 31). Predicting burglary patterns through math modeling of crime. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120531145804.htm
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. "Predicting burglary patterns through math modeling of crime." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120531145804.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Samsung's Incredible Shrinking Smartphone Profits

Samsung's Incredible Shrinking Smartphone Profits

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 30, 2014) — The world's top mobile maker is under severe pressure, delivering a 60 percent drop in Q3 profit as its handset business struggles. Turning it around may not prove easy, says Reuters' Jon Gordon. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ban On Wearable Cameras In Movie Theaters Surprises No One

Ban On Wearable Cameras In Movie Theaters Surprises No One

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) — The Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theatre Owners now prohibit wearable cameras such as Google Glass. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Launches Fitness Band After Accidental Reveal

Microsoft Launches Fitness Band After Accidental Reveal

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) — Microsoft accidentally revealed its upcoming fitness band on Wednesday, so the company went ahead and announced it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) — A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins