SECReT 2011 PhD projects
- Using smartphone applications to record real-time, spatially located information from large groups of people about their perceptions of safety (fear of crime) in the built environment (London)
- Agent-Based Modelling of Wildlife Poaching
- e-Voting security and acceptance
- Nanomaterials for Security Applications
- Increasing Efficiency of Security Procedures to Detect Explosives on Metro Rail Networks through Analysis of Human Errors
- Illicit Firearm Use and the Role of Firearm Procurement and Transfer Networks in England and Wales
- Time-of-Flight X-Ray Compton Scatter Imaging for Cargo Security
- Is HPLC a useful addition to current Geo-Forensic Analytical Techniques?
- Mathematical modelling to establish the effectiveness of countermeasures to radicalisation
- Secure and Robust Digital Archive Over Peer to Peer Networks
- Understanding and preventing criminal disruption of infrastructure networks, focusing on railway disruption
Agent-Based Modelling of Wildlife Poaching
22 March 2013
Wildlife poaching is a serious and growing problem in many developing countries. Much of the research on spatial patterns of poaching conducted hitherto have used so called “top-down” approaches, which include the statistical analysis of observational data, and the mapping of spatial concentrations of poaching incidents. The mechanisms that generate poaching patterns are then inferred. Computer simulation is an alternative method that employs a “bottom-up” approach, whereby the researcher specifies a theoretical model proposed to explain the phenomenon, and then tests this using a computer simulation to examine the extent to which the model generates the behaviours it seeks to simulate. Agent based modelling (ABM) is one particular method in the toolbox of complexity science, and one that is particularly appropriate here. Such models comprise two basic components: 1) agents or actors who engage in behaviours described by simple condition action rules; and, 2) the environment they inhabit. The aim of this thesis is to understand space-time patterns of wildlife poaching using ABM. Semi-structured interviews of communities which live adjacent to Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) in Uganda will be undertaken in order to understand why and how poachers hunt wildlife. This information will be crucial for developing abstract models which will test optimal foraging and crime pattern theories. Snares surveys will also be undertaken in QENP for the purposes of model validation. These facsimile models will then assess how different ranger strategies influence the rate of the number of poaching incidents detected.