Edward H. Kaplan Awarded Koopman Prize for His Paper 'Terror Queues'
Edward H. Kaplan, the William N. and Marie A. Beach Professor of Management Sciences, Professor of Public Health, and Professor of Engineering, has been awarded the Koopman Prize for the outstanding publication in military operations research published in 2010 for his paper "Terror Queues." The Koopman Prize is given by the Military Applications Society of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), the largest professional society in the world for the field of operations research.
In "Terror Queues," published in Operations Research, Kaplan draws on queuing theory to create a novel method to estimate the number of ongoing yet undetected terror plots and how many of those threats can be detected and stopped by undercover intelligence agents. Queuing theory is used to model customers and servers in a system, for example, patients waiting to be treated in a hospital emergency room or customers waiting on hold to talk to a customer service representative. In Kaplan's adaptation, terror queue models treat terror plots as customers, undercover intelligence agents as servers, and detection of terror plots as the service they provide. Successful terror attacks are customers who drop out of the system before they receive service.
The award was presented at the INFORMS annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, on November 14. Yale SOM professor Sang Kim accepted the award on behalf of Kaplan, who was not able to attend. In a statement, Kaplan said, "It is an honor to be selected for the Military Applications Society's Koopman Prize this year. Grounded in numerous discussions with military and intelligence experts in the U.S. and in Israel, the Terror Queues model suggests how undercover agents and informants catch the bad guys, and how undercover activity reports could help determine how many bad guys there are!"
This is Kaplan's third Koopman Prize. He received the award in 2002 for "Emergency Response to a Smallpox Attack" (with David Craft and Larry Wein), and in 2005 for "Operational Effectiveness of Suicide-Bomber-Detector Schemes" (with Moshe Kress).
The research that led to "Terror Queues" was made possible via the support of Daniel Rose YC '51 to the Technion-Yale Initiative in Homeland Security and Counterterror Operations Research.
Read more about "Terror Queues."