ARLINGTON, Va. – U.S. military researchers are asking industry for new ways of using computer simulations to study how information spreads online via social media as a way to neutralize enemy disinformation and propaganda.
Officials of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) issued a solicitation Monday (HR001117S0018) for the Computational Simulation of Online Social Behavior (SocialSim) program.
SocialSim is looking for new ways to use computational simulation to study the spread and evolution of information in the online environment — without pinpointing unique bits of information that could compromise personal privacy.
The ability to simulate the spread and evolution of online information, if accurate and at-scale, could enable a deeper understanding of adversaries’ use of the Internet, DARPA officials say.
Accurate and at-scale simulations of how information spreads and evolves online would support efforts to analyze enemy strategic disinformation campaigns, deliver critical information to local populations during disaster relief operations, and potentially could contribute to other cyber warfare and cyber security missions online.
SocialSim seeks to develop technologies that can simulate online information spread and evolution at scales representing target populations ranging from thousands to tens of millions; develop ways to provide supporting data to simulation development, testing, and measurement; and develop methods and metrics for assessing the accuracy and scalability of simulations of online information spread and evolution.