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Application of big data for national security : a practitioner’s guide to emerging technologies
Akhgar B., Saathoff G., Arabnia H., Hill R., Staniforth A., Bayerl P., Butterworth-Heinemann, Waltham, MA, 2015. 316 pp. Type: Book (978-0-128019-67-2)
Date Reviewed: Sep 8 2016

It is a pleasure to review a compilation of current works that address diverse perspectives of the timely topic of big data analytics for national security. The work consists of 18 chapters organized by topic areas into four sections.

Section 1 is an introduction to big data analytics; it provides descriptions of what big data encompasses and sets a foundation for mutual understanding in defining the five Vs of big data: volume, velocity, variety, veracity, and value. These are the defining criteria for big data. Section 2 is comprised of six chapters that discuss national security and cybercrime from international perspectives. The various authors use real-world incidents as examples of how big data is used.

Section 3, also comprised of six chapters, addresses methods and technological solutions for implementing big data analytics. This section discusses what technologies are applied, such as HADOOP and MapReduce, at a high level, with very little technical detail on the actual architectural considerations that would be necessary to achieve efficiencies and value.

Section 4 provides four chapters that discuss legal and social challenges and issues of big data collection and analysis. This section appears to provide perspectives from the individual author’s country of residence. The legal and social implications from a global perspective are instructive particularly due to the diversity of perspectives and laws among the various members of the international community. The European Union (EU) and the US have significant differences in their laws with respect to the collection of data concerning private citizens, of which this work touches upon some of the most basic and provides instructive real-world examples.

The book closes with glossary and index sections. The glossary includes some of the more uncommon acronyms as well as many well-understood terms. The index spans 12 pages and lists dozens of acronyms not in the glossary. To improve readability and facilitate cross-functional understanding, the many acronyms could be listed separately and categorized by the section where they appear. The intended audience of international practitioners and academics would find a ready reference to interpret contextual meaning. There are 31 international contributors from industry, government, and academia for this book. The six-member editorial team brings in-depth cross-functional expert knowledge to the task. The result is an organized and well-written work.

Reviewer:  Nancy Eickelmann Review #: CR144744 (1612-0886)
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