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An Analysis of the Impact of Passenger Profiling for Transportation Security

Author

Listed:
  • Huseyin Cavusoglu

    () (School of Management, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas 75083)

  • Byungwan Koh

    () (School of Management, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas 75083)

  • Srinivasan Raghunathan

    () (School of Management, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas 75083)

Abstract

The proponents of airline passenger profiling claim that profiling will reduce the cost of security, improve the detection of attackers, increase the reliability of signals from screening devices, and reduce the inconvenience to normal passengers. In this paper we show that if the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) manually inspects all those passengers classified as likely attackers and sends others through a screening system, as it did when it deployed the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System (CAPPS), then it is superior to no profiling on all four performance measures if and only if the quality of the profiler vis-à-vis that of the screening system is sufficiently high. If the quality of the screening device is sufficiently high, profiling could be detrimental on all four performance measures. On the other hand, if the TSA deploys two screening devices along with the profiler---each screening device optimally configured for each of the two groups of passengers---then profiling improves the reliability of screening device signals, reduces the inconvenience caused to normal passengers, and improves the social welfare even when quality of the screening device is high. One of the implications of our findings is that the security architecture used by the TSA when it deployed CAPPS could provide a strong support to the arguments by some against the use of profiling; however, if the TSA deploys a two-screening device architecture, it might not only blunt the criticism that profiling is discriminatory but also benefit normal passengers and overall society economically.

Suggested Citation

  • Huseyin Cavusoglu & Byungwan Koh & Srinivasan Raghunathan, 2010. "An Analysis of the Impact of Passenger Profiling for Transportation Security," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 58(5), pages 1287-1302, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:oropre:v:58:y:2010:i:5:p:1287-1302
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/opre.1090.0793
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ejores:v:278:y:2019:i:3:p:883-893 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Wang, Xiaofang & Zhuang, Jun, 2011. "Balancing congestion and security in the presence of strategic applicants with private information," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 212(1), pages 100-111, July.
    3. Aniruddha Bagchi & Jomon Aliyas Paul, 2014. "Optimal Allocation of Resources in Airport Security: Profiling vs. Screening," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 62(2), pages 219-233, April.
    4. Yonghua Ji & Subodha Kumar & Vijay Mookerjee, 2016. "When Being Hot Is Not Cool: Monitoring Hot Lists for Information Security," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 27(4), pages 897-918, December.
    5. Huseyin Cavusoglu & Young Kwark & Bin Mai & Srinivasan Raghunathan, 2013. "Passenger Profiling and Screening for Aviation Security in the Presence of Strategic Attackers," Decision Analysis, INFORMS, vol. 10(1), pages 63-81, March.

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