SOCIAL FORECASTING: A literature review of research promoted by the United States National Security System to model human behavior


  • Rodrigo Fileto Cuerci Maciel Polícia Federal do Brasil
  • Marta Macedo Kerr Pinheiro Escola de Ciência da Informação, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brasil; Sistema de Informação e Gestão do Conhecimento, Universidade FUMEC, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brasil
  • Petra Saskia Bayerl Centre of Excellence in Terrorism, Resilience, Intelligence and Organised Crime Research), Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, United Kingdom



Intelligence analysis, human behavior, social network, complex network, game theory


The development of new information and communication technologies increased the volume of information flows within society. For the security forces, this phenomenon presents new opportunities for collecting, processing and analyzing information linked with the opportunity to collect a vast and diverse amount data, and at the same time it requires new organizational and individual competences to deal with the new forms and huge volumes of information. Our study aimed to outline the research areas funded by the US defense and intelligence agencies with respect to social forecasting. Based on bibliometric techniques, we clustered 2688 articles funded by US defense or intelligence agencies in five research areas: a) Complex networks, b) Social networks, c) Human reasoning, d) Optimization algorithms, and e) Neuroscience. After that, we analyzed qualitatively the most cited papers in each area. Our analysis identified that the research areas are compatible with the US intelligence doctrine. Besides that, we considered that the research areas could be incorporated in the work of security forces provided that basic training be offered. The basic training would not only enhance capabilities of law enforcement agencies but also help safeguard against (unwitting) biases and mistakes in the analysis of data.


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Biografia do Autor

Rodrigo Fileto Cuerci Maciel, Polícia Federal do Brasil

Rodrigo Fileto C. Maciel is a Brazilian police officer with experience in intelligence analysis at the tactical and strategic level. He has just finished his PhD in Information Science at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. His research interests lie at the intersection of social and technological networks, innovation systems and security issues.

Marta Macedo Kerr Pinheiro, Escola de Ciência da Informação, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brasil; Sistema de Informação e Gestão do Conhecimento, Universidade FUMEC, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brasil

Marta Kerr Pinheiro is professor of Information Science at UFMG and FUMEC. Her research interests are focused on Information Policy, Informational state, intelligence and governmental knowledge.

Petra Saskia Bayerl, Centre of Excellence in Terrorism, Resilience, Intelligence and Organised Crime Research), Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, United Kingdom

Saskia Bayerl is Professor of Digital Communication and Security at Sheffield Hallam University. Her research interests lay at the intersection of human-computer interaction, organisational communication, and organisational change with a special focus on ICT implementation, privacy, and the management of transparenc


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Como Citar

MACIEL, R. F. C.; KERR PINHEIRO, M. M.; BAYERL, P. S. SOCIAL FORECASTING: A literature review of research promoted by the United States National Security System to model human behavior. Revista Brasileira de Ciências Policiais, Brasília, Brasil, v. 12, n. 4, p. 23–52, 2021. DOI: 10.31412/rbcp.v12i4.612. Disponível em: Acesso em: 30 set. 2022.