Christopher M. Boner

Senior Manager

Dr. Boner started the Advanced Data Analytics (ADA) division at Metron by growing a business base that includes numerous R&D projects under DHS Science & Technology (S&T), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), and other Intelligence Community (IC) customers. As Program Manager (PM) for the Adversary Detection project, Dr. Boner led a team to research and develop novel machine learning techniques to discover threat patterns and indicators from historical passenger travel data, and to apply risk models to recommend passengers for secondary screening. The prototype software developed under this effort was extended and customized, under Dr. Boner’s management, into a real-time Automated Modeling & Targeting Subsystem (AMTS) integrated into the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Automated Targeting System-Passenger (ATS-P).  Dr. Boner also led projects to research, develop and deploy a Link Discovery (LD) Tool into the ATS-P web interface. This capability automates the discovery of links from current passengers to past known or suspected threats, and provides web-enabled interactive network visualization and analysis for CBP targeting analysts.


As PM for the DHS S&T Project Insight and the Risk Prediction Program, Dr. Boner led the algorithm design and development of innovative machine learning algorithms and software to discover risk patterns and indicators in massive, multi-feature historical cargo data that can be applied to identify current high-risk cargo shipments. The Shipping Cargo Anomaly Detection and Classification (ScanDeck) delivered and deployed by Metron has been used by cargo analysts to discover new “combination rules” that were implemented in CBP’s Automated Targeting System (ATS) cargo modules to target high-risk shipments for further inspection. 


Dr. Boner served as the PM for multiple projects to research, develop and deploy cargo analysis algorithms and software into ONI’s Global TRADER (GT) system. He was the technical lead and PM for a project to extend, customize and deploy ScanDeck as an automated cargo risk engine to assess the risk of every incoming cargo record. Dr. Boner next led a multi-year effort to research and develop the Transactional Analysis, Discovery and Evaluation of Networks (Trade-Net) toolset. One Trade-Net capability is the Cargo Coding Engine that applies natural language processing to identify the most likely cargo code(s) of each cargo record based on free text cargo descriptions. Another is the Involved Party Explorer that applies innovative entity resolution algorithms to identify company aliases across disparate records, aggregates data to generate company profiles and higher fidelity distributions of shipping activities, and enables analysts to visualize and explore the trade networks and transactions of companies of interest. The Cargo Flow Analysis Tool enables users to visualize geo-temporal cargo flow patterns for commodity types and ports/countries of interest, and to discover anomalous deviations or emergent shipping patterns. 


As the PI for the ARDA/DTO Evidence Assessment, Grouping, Linking and Evaluation (EAGLE) program, Dr. Boner led the design and development of Metron’s Pattern Analysis and Link Discovery for Networks (Paladin) technology to exploit massive, transactional data to discover links, to detect anomalous networks, and to detect patterns of threat activity. Paladin’s network search optimization and hypothesis threat assessment algorithms were drawn from R&D conducted by Dr. Boner and others at Metron to extend classical detection theory to a theory of network detection in transactional data environments. Before joining Metron in 2001, Dr. Boner was a professor of Mathematics at Denison University. 

 

Dr. Boner’s recent publications include:

T. Mifflin, C. Boner, G. Godfrey, and M. Greenblatt, “Detecting terrorist activities in the

twenty-first century: a theory of detection for transactional networks”, Chapter 15 in Emergent information technologies and enabling policies for counter-terrorism, eds. R. L. Popp and J. Yen, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, 2006.

C. Boner, “Automated Detection of Terrorist Activities through Link Discovery within Massive

 

Datasets,” AAAI Spring Symposium on AI Technologies for Homeland Security, Palo Alto, CA, March 2005.

C. Boner, “Novel, Complementary Technologies for Detecting Threat Activities within Massive

Amounts of Transactional Data,” Proceedings of the International Conference on Intelligence Analysis, Tysons Corner, VA, May 2005.

T. Mifflin, C. Boner, G. Godfrey, and J. Skokan, “A Random Graph Model for Terrorist

Transactions”, 2004 IEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings, Big Sky, MT, March 2004.

Before joining Metron in 2001, Dr. Boner was a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Denison University. He has experience programming in Java, C++, Matlab, VBA and bash shell.

Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Mathematics, Bucknell University, 1995 
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Mathematics, University of Virginia, 1999