A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

Expand the Transnational Illicit Trafficking (TransIT) Database


Expand the Transnational Illicit Trafficking (TransIT) Database

Investigators: 
Other START Researchers: 
Joshua HouseAdam Martin

Project Details

Abstract: 

The Transnational Illicit Trafficking (TransIT) tool was originally developed to analyze possible routes for smuggling radiological and/or nuclear materials into the United States. However, it can be adapted to examine other illicit trafficking contexts. To date, the model has been built out for Central America, North and West Africa, Europe, and Central Asia. The model calculates optimized routes of transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) based on a variety of risk indices and accounting for 12 modes of transportation: road, tunnel, foot, commercial and passenger aviation, Cessna, ultra-light aircraft, shipping, go-fast boats, pangas, full and semi-submersibles, sailboats, and rail. For this program, TransIT will be expanded to include Afghanistan and Pakistan under the leadership of START Senior Researcher Marcus Boyd. This expansion will focus on the following research questions: How can we increase the efficiency of data collection related to trafficking methods in a given country? Once trafficking modalities are identified, how can we increase efficiency of data extraction from available sources? What visualization techniques can be used to increase TransIT’s utility for tactical and strategic planning/operations? How can we adapt existing optimization algorithms to more accurately model least cost pathways?

Timeframe

Project Period: 
January 2019 to December 2019