Seminar “Spotting Violence from Space”
A special UEH School of Economics seminar focusing on an amazing research method through an interesting topic “Spotting Violence from Space: The Detection of Housing Destruction in Syria – Methods and Applications”, presented by Dr. André Gröger (Juan de la Cierva Researcher at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Affiliated Professor at the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics)
Time: 14:00 – Wednesday, 25 September, 2019
Venue: Room H.001, Campus H, UEH School of Economics, 1A Hoang Dieu, Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City
Abstract: Generating reliable and high-frequency measures of state and extra-state violence remains a challenge for researchers, international organizations and NGOs. Leading methodologies rely on on-the-ground reporting, which raises concerns that measures of violence are biased, geographically imprecise and temporally lagged. This project proposes an automated method of measuring an important correlate of violence — physical destruction of buildings — using machine learning applied to satellite imagery. We build and train a deep learning computer vision architecture and apply it to detect urban destruction in Syria during the recent civil war. Preliminary results track destruction in Aleppo over time and relate it to changes in territorial gains of war parties and media reporting from different sources.
About the presenter: André Gröger received the PhD degree from Goethe University Frankfurt. He is currently the Assistant Professor and Juan de la Cierva Fellow at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Affiliated Professor at the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (BGSE), and Fellow at the Research Institute in Markets, Organizations and Votes in Economics (MOVE). His research interests are in Applied Microeconomics, Data Science, Development, Labor and Political Economy.