Tracking criminal movements and predicting hot spots

Posted to Statistics  |  Tags:  |  Nathan Yau

In the latest SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, Chaturapruek, et al. describe modeling criminal movements based on where potential criminals live and areas of interest.

Data available on distance between criminals’ homes and their targets shows that burglars are willing to travel longer distances for high-value targets, and tend to employ different means of transportation to make these long trips. Of course, this tendency differs among types of criminals. Professionals and older criminals may travel further than younger amateurs. A group of professional burglars planning to rob a bank, for instance, would reasonably be expected to follow a Lévy flight.

“There is actually a relationship between how far these criminals are willing to travel for a target and the ability for a hotspot to form,” explain Kolokolnikov and McCalla.

I hear the RV and Pontiac Aztec is the preferred mode of transportation among high school chemistry teachers turned meth cooks.

Full paper here, if you’re into that.


A Day in the Life of Americans

I wanted to see how daily patterns emerge at the individual level and how a person’s entire day plays out. So I simulated 1,000 of them.

Life expectancy changes

The data goes back to 1960 and up to the most current estimates for 2009. Each line represents a country.

Top Brewery Road Trip, Routed Algorithmically

There are a lot of great craft breweries in the United States, but there is only so much time. This is the computed best way to get to the top rated breweries and how to maximize the beer tasting experience. Every journey begins with a single sip.

Years You Have Left to Live, Probably

The individual data points of life are much less predictable than the average. Here’s a simulation that shows you how much time is left on the clock.