Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Reader 1

Susan Martonosi

Reader 2

Nicholas Pippenger

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Rights Information

© Alice Paul


Terrorism threatens both international peace and security and is a national concern. It is believed that terrorist organizations rely heavily on a few key leaders and that destroying such an organization's leadership is essential to reducing its influence. Martonosi et al. (2011) argues that increasing the amount of communication through a key leader increases the likelihood of detection. If we model a covert organization as a social network where edges represent communication between members, we want to determine the subset of members to remove that maximizes the amount of communication through the key leader. A mixed-integer linear program representing this problem is presented as well as a decomposition for this optimization problem. As these approaches prove impractical for larger graphs, often running out of memory, the last section focuses on structural characteristics of vertices and subsets that increase communication. Future work should develop these structural properties as well as heuristics for solving this problem.