Integrated Crisis Early Warning System

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The Integrated Crisis Early Warning System (ICEWS) combines a database of political events and a system using these to provide conflict early warnings. It is supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in the United States. The database as well as the model used by Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories are currently undergoing operational test and evaluation by the United States Southern Command and United States Pacific Command.[1]


ICEWS was a DARPA program conceived and led by Dr. Sean P. O'Brien that launched in 2008. In March 2010, O'Brien authored an article that compared ICEWS with past efforts in the realm, including systems designed by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita.[2][3] According to the paper, the first of three phases of the ICEWS involved a competition between different groups to successfully predict events of interest based on historical data. The winning team, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories, combined six different conflict modeling systems, including agent-based models such as Barry Silverman's Factionalism and Ian Lustick's Political Science-Identity (PSI) computational modeling platforms, logistic regression models such as those developed by Philip A. Schrodt and the Bayesian statistics model used by Steve Shellman, and geo-spatial network models built by Michael D. Ward.[3]

The ICEWS data and model are currently maintained by Lockheed Martin and undergoing operational test and evaluation by the United States Southern Command and United States Pacific Command.[1]


Academic reception[edit]

ICEWS has been discussed in papers on conflict prediction[4] as well as papers on the coding of political events.[5] There has also been some research comparing ICEWS with the Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone.[6][7]

Reception in blogs[edit]

ICEWS has been discussed extensively in blogs related to geopolitical forecasting as well as crisis prediction.[3][8] Among the topics discussed have been the utility of access to ICEWS data in improving the quality of predictions made in The Good Judgment Project[9] and its similarities and differences with the Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT).[10][11]


  1. ^ a b "World-Wide Integrated Crisis Early Warning System". Lockheed Martin. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
  2. ^ O'Brien, Sean P. (March 9, 2010). "Crisis Early Warning and Decision Support: Contemporary Approaches and Thoughts on Future Research". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ a b c Meier, Patrick (March 20, 2010). "DARPA's Crisis Early Warning and Decision Support System". Conflict Early Warning and Early Response. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
  4. ^ Ward, Michael D.; Metternich, Nils; Carrington, Christopher; Dorff, Cassy; Gallop, Max; Hollenbach, Florian M.; Schultz, Anna; Weschle, Simon. "Geographical Models of Crises: Evidence from ICEWS" (PDF).
  5. ^ Schrodt, Philip A.; Van Brackle, David (2013). "Automated Coding of Political Event Data" (PDF). Handbook of Computational Approaches to Counterterrorism. Springer Science+Business Media: 23–49. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-5311-6_2. ISBN 978-1-4614-5310-9.
  6. ^ Ward, Michael D.; Beger, Andreas; Cutler, Joshua; Dickenson, Matthew; Dorff, Cassy; Radford, Ben. "Comparing GDELT and ICEWS Event Data" (PDF).
  7. ^ Arva, Bryan; Beieler, John; Fisher, Ben; Lara, Gustavo; Schrodt, Philip A.; Song, Wonjun; Sowell, Marsha; Stehle, Sam (July 3, 2013). "Improving Forecasts of International Events of Interest" (PDF). Retrieved June 21, 2014.
  8. ^ Ulfelder, Jay (September 16, 2011). "Maybe Pattern Recognition Will Work Better Than I Thought". Dart-Throwing Chimp. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
  9. ^ Dickenson, Matt (November 12, 2013). "Prediction and Good Judgment: Can ICEWS Inform Forecasts?". Predictive Heuristics. Archived from the original on April 18, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
  10. ^ Ward, Michael D. (October 17, 2013). "GDELT and ICEWS, a short comparison". Predictive Heuristics. Archived from the original on July 17, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
  11. ^ Beieler, John (October 28, 2013). "Noise in GDELT". Retrieved June 21, 2014.

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