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IARPA Wants Help Forecasting Rare Events

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is seeking information on methods to model and forecast rare events such as pandemics, coups, nuclear incidents, extreme space weather, and breakthrough discoveries.

The purpose of the Request for Information (RFI) is to identify existing and emerging methods to model and forecast rare events, and approaches for assessing the performance of these methods. Of particular interest are methods that can support fundamental advances in rare event forecasting that may be generalized or adapted for a range of domains.

The low frequency of rare events makes model and forecast evaluation difficult, as the number of observations may be too small to make conventional statistical inferences about performance.  This RFI also seeks to identify alternative approaches for assessing the performance of methods for forecasting rare events.

RFI respondents are encouraged to address methodological issues and describe the state-of-art in rare event modeling and forecasting. Domains of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • International Relations
  • Political Science
  • Epidemiology
  • Economics
  • Technological Hazards
  • Natural Hazards
  • Scientific and Technological Breakthroughs

Responding organizations are asked to address existing methods, statistical assumptions of underlying models, limits of such models, how the methods have been tested and evaluated, and emerging methods and technologies.

The responses to this RFI may be used to help IARPA in planning a one-day workshop on rare events. Further details are available via Solicitation Number: IARPA-RFI-15-03. The response deadline is September 18, 2015.

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