Due Septemeber 22 CS 4460 - Intro. to Information Visualization Fall 2017

Homework 3: Investigative Analysis: Putting the Pieces Together

This assignment will give you experience working with text documents and conducting an investigation of the events described within them. In essence, you get to play the role of an intelligence analyst or police detective and "put the pieces together" to discover a hidden plot. In terms of our course topics, the assignment also will provide you with experience working with text and document visualizations, as well as a visual analytics system.

On the class t-square site you will find a document containing a number of synthetic intelligence reports. You should examine these reports closely. Each one contains facts and events, some of which may be relevant to the hidden plot and some of which may be irrelevant. The hidden plot is a criminal/terrorist action being planned that you, as an intelligence analyst, must identify and issue the appropriate warnings for it to be prevented.

Your challenge is to make sense of the documents and "put the pieces together." Do whatever you need to do to make better understand the hidden events and discover the plans. To assist you with the task, you will be able to use the Jigsaw visual analytics system. (A Jigsaw datafile corresponding to the document collection will be available on t-square too.) Be creative! This is not an easy task, so don't get frustrated if you struggle a little at first. Stick with it.

What to turn in: Turn in one piece of paper for this assignment. On it, you should write a brief (less than 200 words) summary of the plot of the criminal/terrorist action that you suspect will occur. You should be able to do this in 3-4 sentences. Explain what you think will happen, where, who is responsible, and how did they get the means to carry out such an action. You should write a report here as if you were to pass this to your superiors to warn them about what might happen. In a separate section, in a few paragraphs describe the investigative process and methods you used to work on the task. How did you attempt to figure out the plot? What were the most challenging aspects of this exercise? What would have helped you in doing the investigative analysis? How did Jigsaw help or not help? What did you think about performing this kind of analysis? Additionally, if you created any auxiliary materials (text or drawings) to help you work on the assignment, please turn those in so that we can see them.

Grading: We will evaluate how accurate your description of the plot is. We know that this is a challenging task, however, so we are mostly seeking that you make a good effort at the problem. We also will reward thoughtful descriptions of your investigative process and interesting, reflective comments about it.