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Partially supervised spatiotemporal clustering for burglary crime series identification


  • Brian J. Reich
  • Michael D. Porter


type="main" xml:id="rssa12076-abs-0001"> Statistical clustering of criminal events can be used by crime analysts to create lists of potential suspects for an unsolved crime, to identify groups of crimes that may have been committed by the same individuals or group of individuals, for offender profiling and for predicting future events. We propose a Bayesian model-based clustering approach for criminal events. Our approach is semisupervised, because the offender is known for a subset of the events, and utilizes spatiotemporal crime locations as well as crime features describing the offender's modus operandi. The hierarchical model naturally handles complex features that are often seen in crime data, including missing data, interval-censored event times and a mix of discrete and continuous variables. In addition, our Bayesian model produces posterior clustering probabilities which allow analysts to act on model output only as warranted. We illustrate the approach by using a large data set of burglaries in 2009–2010 in Baltimore County, Maryland.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian J. Reich & Michael D. Porter, 2015. "Partially supervised spatiotemporal clustering for burglary crime series identification," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 178(2), pages 465-480, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jorssa:v:178:y:2015:i:2:p:465-480

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    Cited by:

    1. Anton Borg & Martin Boldt, 2016. "Clustering Residential Burglaries Using Modus Operandi and Spatiotemporal Information," International Journal of Information Technology & Decision Making (IJITDM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 15(01), pages 23-42, January.

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