Networks within networks: using multiple link types to examine network structure and identify key actors in a drug trafficking operation

David Bright, Catherine Greenhill, Alison Ritter, Carlo Morselli

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Understanding criminal networks can aid in the identification of key players and important relationships within the network. We examined multiple, directed link types in a criminal network. Eight distinct link types were identified, each one related to the exchange of a particular resource (e.g. drugs, money). The analyses focused on the eight link-type network layers and a merged network representing links across all eight layers. We were able to determine the link type of around 31% of the links, and found that nearly 50% of the nodes were involved in more than one network layer. This suggests that many actors contribute in multiple, diverse ways to the operation of the network. Actors were found to specialise in the exchange of particular types of resources, and also to specialise in the strategic position they occupied in the transfer of particular resources.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)219-237
    Number of pages19
    JournalGlobal Crime
    Volume16
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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