A source on politics, war, the Middle East, Arabic poetry, and art.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
How they came up with the estimates of dead in Syria
a data mining technique called an alternating decision tree, Price, Ball and Jeff
Klingercompiled basic fatality figures -- such as victims' ages, time and
place of death -- from seven separate data sets, including those maintained by
the Syrian government and opposition groups, including the oft-cited Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights. The
names and vital details of 147,349 reported killings were then run through a
computer program that is designed to detect duplicate references to individuals.
The model was refined by a native Syrian Arab speaker who went through a sample
of about 8,200 pairs of killings.The figure was then whittled down to 59,648 "unique" deaths,
though Benetech notes that it "was not able to differentiate clearly between
combatants and non-combatants." The seven data sets used ranged from the Syrian
government's record of 2,539 dead to more than 38,120 counted by the Violations Documentation
Center, an opposition group. The larger number included in Pillay's estimate
reflected the fact that the analysis was drawn from seven separate data sets." (thanks Narrima)
Comic by Terry Furry, reproduced from "Heard the One About the Funny Leftist?" by Cris Thompson, East Bay Express
As'ad AbuKhalil, born March 16, 1960. From Tyre, Lebanon, grew up in Beirut. Received his BA and MA from American University of Beirut in pol sc. Came to US in 1983 and received his PhD in comparative government from Georgetown University. Taught at Tufts University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Colorado College, and Randolph-Macon Woman's College. Served as a Scholar-in-Residence at Middle East Institute in Washington DC. He served as free-lance Middle East consultant for NBC News and ABC News, an experience that only served to increase his disdain for maintream US media. He is now professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley. His favorite food is fried eggplants.
Email the Angry Arab at: aabukhalil[at]csustan [dot][edu]
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