Washington, April 17 : Computer scientists at University of Southern California, including an Indian origin researcher, have written software that may help improve vigilance against terrorist attacks.
The software called ARMOR, already being used to beef up security at LAX airport in Los Angeles, has been developed as part of a DHS-sponsored research project.
Praveen Paruchuri tested the software along with Professor Milind Tambe, who is associated with the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE), a DHS Center of Excellence based at USC.
The researchers say that the software records the locations of routine, random vehicle checkpoints and canine searches at the airport, and thereby helps pinpoint any security breaches or suspicious activity.
The software, thus, provides the police with a model of where to go, and when.
It makes random decisions on the basis of calculated probabilities of a terrorist attack at those locations. The software uses mathematical algorithms for making such calculations.
"What the airport was doing before was not truly statistically random; it was simply mixing things up. What they have now is systematized, true randomization," said computer science professor Milind Tambe, who is associated with the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE), a DHS Center of Excellence based at USC.
Tambe revealed that the software completed its six-month trial recently, and that airport officials had asked them to transfer the software over to them on a more permanent basis.
He also said that other airports, agencies, and business organisations were also showing interest in their software.
As to what may happen if terrorists get hold of ARMOR, Tambe said: "Even if they got the software and all the inputs, it'd be like rolling 50 different dice and expecting to correctly roll one combination of all 50 pairs."