Thursday, November 25, 2010

Conflict in Space and Time

Predicting Conflict in Space and Time by Nils B. Weidmann, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA, and Michael D. Ward, Department of Political Science, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

is that academic article relevant for Israel's situation?


The prediction of conflict constitutes a challenge to social scientists. This article explores whether the incorporation of geography can help us make our forecasts of political violence more accurate. The authors describe a spatially and temporally autoregressive discrete regression model, following the framework of Geyer and Thompson. This model is applied to geo-located data on attributes and conflict events in Bosnia over the period from March 1992 to October 1995.

Results show that there is a strong spatial as well as temporal dimension to the outbreak of violence in Bosnia. The authors then explore the use of this model for predicting future conflict. Using a simulation approach, the predictive accuracy of the spatial—temporal model is compared to a standard regression model that only includes time lags. The results show that even in a difficult out-of-sample prediction task, the incorporation of space improves our forecasts of future conflict.


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