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Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Scienmce.

DURHAM, NC

Neural Network for Psychological Criminal Profiling


Marco Strano Italian State Police Psychologist Duke University researcher Roberta Bruzzone International Crime Analysis Association Psychologist Duke University Researcher

NNPCP: Decisional investigative analysis support system

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M. Strano, R. Bruzzone

Equipe NNPCP
Starting project: Marco Strano (Italy) Forensic Psychiatric development: George Palermo (USA) Forensic Psychology development: Roberta Bruzzone (Italy) Forensic Medicine: Alfonso Terrana e Giacomo Badalamenti (Italy) Software development: Silvia Ferrari (USA); Internet development: Daniel Durand (France)

The benefits of increasing intuitive policing


The benefit of increasing intuitive policing applied to the prevention of criminal conducts, and for the self-defence of police officers on duty, has been broadly documented through studies in this field and is the subject of research being carried out by eminent experts at global level.
(Pinnizzotto A.J., Davis E.F., Miller C.E., 2003, 2004)
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side effects in a high-stress situation


In fact, the improvement of the ability to identify a threat immediately through the development of emotion-type perceptual channels can cause a remarkable reduction of the officers response time and offers the possibility to better control some typical side effects produced by the sudden exposition to a high-stress situation (tunnel vision, tachypsichya, etc.).

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Rational policing in the investigative analysis

However, the development of rational policing appears to be necessary in investigative analysis activities requiring the investigator to have an inductive/deductive logical approach.

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M. Strano, R. Bruzzone

The role of intuitive and rational policing


As a usual trend, the rational assessment of evidence plays the most important role in investigative analysis, and intuitive policing dynamics are limited to some cases where the emotional channel can represent a further way to access information helpful to the decisionmaking process (i.e., during close observations or the interrogation of a suspect or witness).

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N.N.P.C.P.
a decisional support for rational policing

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M. Strano, R. Bruzzone

Is it possible to replicate the operation mechanisms of a criminal mind in a lab?


Sociology, Social Psychology, Individual Psychology and Clinical Psychiatry rely their diagnosis activity on the consideration that human behaviors are often recurrent and have frequent correlations with deep psychophysiological bases, as well as behavioral learning mechanisms.

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M. Strano, R. Bruzzone

Goal directed action


There are always a motivation, a goal to pursue (goal directed action) and an action logic (usually aimed at saving energy) for each social, group and individual behavior. Such a logic can apparently be unclear when the motivational factor is unknown to the observer due to its atypicalness or its rooting in the actors profound psychology. As an example, a motivation on a psycho-pathological basis can reveal an apparently inconsistent logic.
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The aim of the NNPCP project


The aim of the NNPCP project is to create an intelligent and self-learning computer system capable of receiving and processing information coming from observations of officers who experienced crime scene situations, thus providing hypotheses for the motivational and behavioral construal of a subject (the crime perpetrator).

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M. Strano, R. Bruzzone

criminal mind replication?


Actually, the replication of the exact operation mechanism of a criminal mind is a mere illusion, since there is no computer able to explain or anticipate unquestionably the relevant portion of human behavior determined by the signification and selection capacity that is peculiar to the human species.

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M. Strano, R. Bruzzone

The limit of computer


A computer, even though highly sophisticated, cant anticipate an individuals adaptive and interactive responses related to contextual factors and distant from the behavioral pattern hypothetically correlated to a specific personality profile, or to a given psycho-pathological framework.

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M. Strano, R. Bruzzone

Motivativational and behavioral patterns


However, the NNPCP network structure, even being unable to replicate exactly the operation of a criminal mind, suggests motivational and behavioral patterns peculiar to the majority of the criminal minds studied up to now.

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M. Strano, R. Bruzzone

a logical behavior for a criminal mind


In fact, what digital technology can somewhat successfully replicate is a logical behavior (for a criminals mind) through a statistical-inductive processing and logical-deductive correlations that represent, as a whole, how that very person typically acts in a specific situation, providing a decisional support that limits (without excluding) fault probabilities.

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M. Strano, R. Bruzzone

NNPCP in not a database


As opposed to traditional databases, the NNPCP system is more similar to the operation structure of the human mind, having the capability of highlighting veiled correlations (knowledge discovery) and learning from experience in a simplified manner.

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NNPCP system functions:


verifying the reliability of inductive and deductive profiling methods; providing investigators with a support for analysis and investigations; orienting and standardizing the investigative analysis; reducing error margins on a probabilistic base recommending the analysis of various tracks and offering the rational assessment of the several opportunities; reducing investigative decisions on an emotionalirrational base.
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The approach of Neural network


The typical approach of a neural network relies on the most likely trend, even taking into consideration other selection options.

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M. Strano, R. Bruzzone

The initial phase: NNPCP basic learn


In the initial phase, the software (network) undergoes a basic training (basic learn) by means of the storing of correlations derived from the following sources: elements based on deductive logic: for instance the presence of sperm in the victims body indicates deductively that the suspect is a male; elements based on statistical studies: in the case the victim is less than 1 year old, reliable international studies indicate the victims mother as the most likely offender (70%-90% of cases); elements based on deductive logic: the authors experience in Clinical Psychology and the analysis of specific literature suggest that some personality traits and some psycho-pathological frameworks (I and II axes DSM-IV) are more or less compatible with a number of actions performed by the offender that can leave evidence (traces) on the crime scene or in the coroner report.

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The basic training


Therefore, the basic training simply puts the system in the position of providing the first profiles based more on logic that on experience. The system output is characteristic of a neural network and is expressed in possibility trends rather than reductionistic certainties. Such a factor reduces the false positives and the subsequent wrong accusations.
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The reduction of logical investigative errors


The use of the NNPCP investigative decisional support reduces first-impression errors, halo effects, decision-polarization effects, and any possible prejudice of the investigators, suggesting the most logical correlations and simultaneously indicating other tracks, maybe less evident and potentially less likely but not completely inconsistent.

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Standardized investigation analysis


The adoption of a standardized investigation analysis protocol, essential to the use of the NNPCP, makes the examination on the crime scene more systematic, and encourage the investigator to draw information from several sources before formulating his/her first hypotheses.

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Possibles new scenarios


Even after such a formulation, the software stimulates the investigator to obtain further elements that could disclose new scenarios or disprove the first suppositions that surfaced in his/her mind.

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mathematical logic and intuition


The system proposes an investigative approach based on a mathematical logic, yet leaving enough space to the investigators intuition during the information retrieval phase.

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NNPCP reduce typical investigative errors

Logical error
it consists in acquiring a series of personality features starting from a feature previously detected to which they are correlated (i.e., if a suspect seems to be well-mannered, then he/she will be probably considered a friendly or inoffensive individual).

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M. Strano, R. Bruzzone

Indulgence/hostility effect
in this case, benevolent or unfavorable attitudes (also unconscious) can be put into practice towards a possible suspect, depending on whether his/her manners and look are pleasant or not. This error can limit the search for possible evidence against a suspect, underestimating clues or avoiding deep examinations of potential traces. Or else, the attention can be focused on a subject having nothing to do with the fact (mechanism of the investigation theorem).
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Halo effect (error)


Halo effect: it is a very common cognitive distortion associated to the normal operation of the human mind that is inclined to save energy and often relies the construal of reality on few perception items, ignoring or underestimating other items that can invalidate the first impression construed. This mechanism, skillfully described by Festinger, can lead an investigator to the formulation of probable hypotheses, based on the first elements, without taking into consideration evidences, even if significant, come out afterwards.

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Prejudice effect (error)


the investigator can be influenced by previous similar cases (superficial approach owing to an excess of inductive logic), or by consolidated attitudes (i.e., relating to the suspects race origins or criminal records).

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NNPCP advanced training: entry of actual cases


The entry of data derived from actual cases concerning CS, AV, RML and RI, subsequently correlated according to the offenders (definitely identified and interviewed while in custody) biosociological, motivational, psychological and psychopathological profile, slowly change the certainty of the initial formulation (on a statistical base) having the system to generate more and more accurate and reliable outputs.
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NNPCP advanced training: entry of actual cases


Case 1
Crime scene analysis LEARNING Victim analysis Others investigative informations Coroner report (autopsy) Offender interwiew
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NNPCP

development of the NNPCP


The future development of the NNPCP system is conceivable through three steps and three time phases: 1. Initial phase (basic learn) 1-2 years 2. Statistical implementation phase (advanced learn) 2-5 years 3. Operational phase (normal) 5-10 years

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NNPCP: The importance of geographical and cultural factors in criminal profiling


The NNPCP software is searchable and updateable via the Internet. The neural network recognizes data/cases from various geographical areas and provides its reply according to the region from which the request has been sent. Basically, the program is able to evaluate the different cultural variables that can affect the thinking and behavior of a criminal whose psychological profile is being sought after. The origin zone of real cases that contribute to feed the NNPCP network is identified through pertinent user-IDs and passwords (assigned to operators located in a given geographical area). As an example, cases from a European country instruct the Europe profile of the network that is able to recognize and route them.
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Specific geographical areas


Obviously, queries from a specific geographical area will also receive an output based on the corresponding instruction profile. Currently, the software is programmed to identify the cultural influences related to the areas listed below: Western Europe United States South Africa Australia China India South America
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NNPCP: Web interface for desktop, laptop and handheld computers


The NNPCP software allows the use of a number of commercial browsers and several types of handheld computers, both for queries and entries. Upon first connection to the system, the website nnpcp.org asks the user for his/her hardware equipment and browsing software. According to the users indications, the site gets ready to enable an appropriate display of the forms on the screen. The system is designed for the most common browsers (some versions of Explorer and Netscape) and the main palmtop computer trademarks and models.
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NNPCP: The input of actual cases


The instruction of the NNPCP neural network is carried out by entering actual cases, using data derived from the crime scene, the coroner report, the police report on the victim, and the psychological study of the offender. The system exploits all collected data to instruct the neural network only after the investigation has been completed and the culprit has been found out, arrested and interrogated. In particular, when the offender is detected after a long time, it may occur that the investigation remains at a standstill for months or even years, so, in order to avoid any mistake, all registered and certified users have the opportunity to access only their own cases (opened by themselves). In fact, the system recognizes user-IDs and passwords used when opening a case, so the operator wanting to modify (or conclude) a case after some time, is offered that specific case only.

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M. Strano, R. Bruzzone

NNPCP: Multiple accesses to the same case


The NNPCP system is able to collect all data relating to the same case, but entered by different operators (i.e., the crime scene investigator, the coroner, the psychologist), and converge them into the supporting database. Operators will have to use the same Case Identification Code (CIC).

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M. Strano, R. Bruzzone

NNPCP: Statistical/analytical use of the system


The NNPCP neural network supporting database is also able to perform the conventional computation of statistics, calculating the incidence of single variables and correlating different variables. Therefore, the system is exploitable for research purposes in addition to the investigative use.
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And if NNPCP works..

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