Complex Problem Solving: Identity Matching Based on Social Contextual Information

By Xu, Jennifer; Wang, G. Alan et al. | Journal of the Association for Information Systems, October 2007 | Go to article overview

Complex Problem Solving: Identity Matching Based on Social Contextual Information


Xu, Jennifer, Wang, G. Alan, Li, Jiexun, Chau, Michael, Journal of the Association for Information Systems


Abstract:

Complex problems like drug crimes often involve a large number of variables interacting with each other. A complex problem may be solved by breaking it into parts (i.e., sub-problems), which can be tackled more easily. The identity matching problem, for example, is a part of the problem of drug and other types of crimes. It is often encountered during crime investigations when a single criminal is represented by multiple identity records in law enforcement databases. Because of the discrepancies among these records, a single criminal may appear to be different people. Following Enid Mumford's three-stage problem solving framework, we design a new method to address the problem of criminal identity matching for fighting drug-related crimes. Traditionally, the complexity of criminal identity matching was reduced by treating criminals as isolated individuals who maintain certain personal identities. In this research, we recognize the intrinsic complexity of the problem and treat criminals as interrelated rather than isolated individuals. In other words, we take into consideration of the social relationships between criminals during the matching process. We study not only the personal identities but also the social identities of criminals. Evaluation results were quite encouraging and showed that combining social features with personal features could improve the performance of criminal identity matching. In particular, the social features become more useful when data contain many missing values for personal attributes.

Keywords: Complex problems, design science, identity matching, social contextual information.

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

Introduction

Modern society is increasingly facing various complex problems that are "pervasive, spreading unhindered into regions, countries, and economic activities which seem powerless to resist the invasion" (Mumford, 1998, p. 447). Globalization, for example, is such a complex problem that, while bringing numerous opportunities to organizations, has also brought substantial challenges and pressure. Defining complex problems seems to be a good starting point for solving them; however, there has not been a widely accepted definition (Gray, 2002; Quesada et al., 2005). Funke (1991) suggested that complex problems can be understood by contrasting them with simple problems, which can be solved by simple reasoning and pure logic (Quesada et al., 2005), and that they can be characterized by their intransparency, polytely (from the Greek words poly telos meaning many goals), complexity, connectivity of variables, dynamic, and time-delayed effects. In other words, the defining characteristics of complex problems are a large number of variables (complexity) that interact in a nonlinear fashion (connectivity), changing over time (dynamic and time-dependent), and to achieve multiple goals (polytely).

One of the two examples that Mumford used to illustrate complex problem solving (Mumford, 1998; Mumford, 1999) is drug crimes, which clearly have all these features: a large number of people interact and cooperate frequently; they play different roles and spread across different countries and regions; they form networks of personnel to carry out various activities (drug production, transportation, distribution, sales, and money laundering); they change from time to time in response to the uncertainty and dynamics in their environments; their goals are to effectively and efficiently maximize profit and minimize damage and loss. Although drug crimes are not directly related to many organizations, they are likely to become one of our society's major problems that will have social, health, and economic impact on our lives (Mumford, 1998).

Solving drug crimes is by no means an easy task. Like many other complex problems, the drug problem consists of many sub-problems, which themselves are also complex. Identity matching is such a sub-problem of drug crimes.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Complex Problem Solving: Identity Matching Based on Social Contextual Information
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.