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Implementing a Complex Social Simulation of the Violent Offending Process: The Promise of a Synthetic Offender

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dc.contributor.advisor Cioffi-Revilla, Claudio
dc.contributor.author Dover, Thomas J.
dc.creator Dover, Thomas J.
dc.date.accessioned 2016-09-28T10:22:14Z
dc.date.available 2016-09-28T10:22:14Z
dc.date.issued 2016
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/1920/10439
dc.description.abstract There are limitations to traditional methods of capturing the dynamics of violent interactions. These limitations are due to outcome driven approaches, data sampling issues, and inadequate means to capture, express, and explore the complexity of behavioral processes. To address these challenges, it is proposed that “violent offending” be re-framed as an emergent feature of a complex adaptive social system. This dissertation abstracts and computationally implements a theoretical framework that forms the basis of a complex social simulation of the violent offending process. The primary outcome of this effort is a viable synthetic offender that emerges from simulated interactions between potential offenders (subjects) and potential victims (targets) within an environment. The results of calibrating this model to a real-world murder series are discussed, as well as, the comparison metrics used to assess goodness-of-fit of simulated and real-world event-sites. A synthetic offender promises valuable insights into individual offending trajectories, offender tactical processes, and the emergence of geospatial and temporal behaviors. Furthermore, this approach is capable of reproducing the violent offending process with sufficient detail to contribute new scientific understanding and insights to criminology and the social sciences.
dc.format.extent 332 pages
dc.language.iso en
dc.rights Copyright 2016 Thomas J. Dover
dc.subject Criminology en_US
dc.subject Behavioral sciences en_US
dc.subject Computer science en_US
dc.subject Agent-based Modeling en_US
dc.subject Computational Criminology en_US
dc.subject Serial Murder en_US
dc.subject Synthetic Offender en_US
dc.subject Violent Behavior en_US
dc.subject Violent Offender en_US
dc.title Implementing a Complex Social Simulation of the Violent Offending Process: The Promise of a Synthetic Offender
dc.type Dissertation
thesis.degree.level Ph.D.
thesis.degree.discipline Computational Social Sciences
thesis.degree.grantor George Mason University


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  • Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study
    Seeking to understand the human mind: how it came to be, how it relates to the electrochemical activities of networks of nerve cells in the brain, how it can be modeled on computers, and how it is a vital component of what we are.

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