IARPA in the News

Intelligence Community News

On July 2, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) released the following funding opportunity for the Logical Qubits (LogiQ) Program (Solicitation Number: IARPA-BAA-15-10). Proposals for the initial round of selections are due no later than 5:00pm Eastern on September 1, 2015.

IARPA is seeking innovative solutions for the Logical Qubits (LogiQ) Program. LogiQ intends to build a logical qubit from a number of imperfect physical qubits by combining high-fidelity multi-qubit operations with extensible integration. The LogiQ Program is envisioned to begin 1 February 2016 and end by 31 January 2021.

ExecutiveBiz

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is seeking proposals for a program that aims to develop and assess methods for insider threat detection.

PLOS ONE

Social unrest is endemic in many societies, and recent news has drawn attention to happenings in Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Civilian populations mobilize, sometimes spontaneously and sometimes in an organized manner, to raise awareness of key issues or to demand changes in governing or other organizational structures. It is of key interest to social scientists and policy makers to forecast civil unrest using indicators observed on media such as Twitter, news, and blogs. We present an event forecasting model using a notion of activity cascades in Twitter (proposed by Gonzalez-Bailon et al., 2011) to predict the occurrence of protests in three countries of Latin America: Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela. The basic assumption is that the emergence of a suitably detected activity cascade is a precursor or a surrogate to a real protest event that will happen “on the ground.” Our model supports the theoretical characterization of large cascades using spectral properties and uses properties of detected cascades to forecast events. Experimental results on many datasets, including the recent June 2013 protests in Brazil, demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach.

This work was supported by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) via Department of Interior National Business Center (Do(/NBC) contract number D12PC000337, National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01GM109718-01, Defense Threat Reduction Agency grant number HDTRA1-11-1-0016, Defense Threat Reduction Agency Comprehensive National Incident Management System Contract contract number HDTRA1-11-D-0016-0001, National Science Foundation (NSF) under grant number CCF-1216000 and NSF grant number CNS-1011769....

Intelligence Community News

On June 19, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) posted the following solicitation (IARPA-BAA-15-09). Although this broad agency announcement (BAA) closes on June 17, 2016, the proposal due date for the initial round of selections is August 10, 2015.

The Economist

A computer proceeds one step at a time. At any particular moment, each of its bits—the binary digits it adds and subtracts to arrive at its conclusions—has a single, definite value: zero or one. At that moment the machine is in just one state, a particular mixture of zeros and ones. It can therefore perform only one calculation next. This puts a limit on its power. To increase that power, you have to make it work faster. But bits do not exist in the abstract. Each depends for its reality on the physical state of part of the computer’s processor or memory. And physical states, at the quantum level, are not as clear-cut as classical physics pretends. That leaves engineers a bit of wriggle room. By exploiting certain quantum effects they can create bits, known as qubits, that do not have a definite value, thus overcoming classical computing’s limits.

Around the world, small bands of such engineers have been working on this approach for decades. Using two particular quantum phenomena, called superposition and entanglement, they have created qubits and linked them together to make prototype machines that exist in many states simultaneously. Such quantum computers do not require an increase in speed for their power to increase. In principle, this could allow them to become far more powerful than any classical machine—and it now looks as if principle will soon be turned into practice....

Documents released by Edward Snowden, a whistleblower, revealed that the Penetrating Hard Targets programme of America’s National Security Agency was actively researching “if, and how, a cryptologically useful quantum computer can be built”. In May IARPA, the American government’s intelligence-research arm, issued a call for partners in its Logical Qubits programme, to make robust, error-free qubits.

DZone

Over the years there have been numerous stories highlighting the generally poor record so called experts have in predicting major events looming on the horizon. For the past few years a competition has been run by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) whereby university teams are invited to try and improve the art of forecasting major global events. One of the most successful entrants has been the team from Wharton. Barbara Mellers led the team and she believes their success is down to a number of factors....

International Relations and Security Network (ISN)

The aim of intelligence analysis is straightforward enough: to foresee emerging threats to the extent that one can prepare sufficiently in advance to either prevent or at least mitigate them. Research lies at the core of this enterprise in forecasting risk, whether via classified or unclassified data. But at a time when open source information is exponentially increasing in direct proportion to levels of uncertainty, how such foresight is conducted and by whom has become a key concern.

In 2011, the US government took a bold step in attempting to address those concerns. The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (or IARPA, a division of the Office of the Director of National intelligence) invested in a four-year exploration of the underpinnings of better foresight analysis. Known as the Aggregative Contingent Estimation (ACE) program, the initiative used a tournament originally consisting of five teams of forecasters to determine which individuals were most adept at forecasting future geopolitical outcomes and which traits shaped the best. Investigators and observers alike were surprised by the tournament’s results.