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Digging the Connections

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2006
2 pages
The article describes the benefits of the data-mining software tool, developed at Pennsylvania’s Lehigh University which finds links and similarities between crimes.

A data-mining software program developed by researchers at Pennsylvania’s Lehigh University was formally developed to find linkages in crime. With funding from the National Institute of Justice and the National Science Foundation, the Bethlehem police created the Bethlehem Police Department Information Extraction System. The System is a data-mining tool that digs into unstructured narrative text and pulls out links between names, birthdates, addresses, vehicles, and more, helping investigators quickly find similarities between crimes. The software runs on an ordinary personal computer. The system offers three different search modes. The goal of each search mode is to provide a list of closely matching previous incidents and a short list of suspects. Using sophisticated data-mining techniques and algorithms, Lehigh researchers can take the old records management systems, pick out key words, and make the information accessible. Old information is still very valuable and is no longer lost. Because of this data-mining software, officers can view and extract important pieces of data that can help to generate new leads in old and new cases.

Date Published: October 1, 2006