The Transnational Digital
Government Research Project
An IT system for transnational collaboration on border
control
Presenter: Charles McSweeney MSc.
Chair, Information Technology Department, UB
Chair, Belize National Observatory on Drugs
On behalf of
TDG Team: Belize, Dominican Republic, US
Belize
Gateway to Paradise – Yoh betta Belize it
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
TDG

Transnational digital government
•
•
collaborative government processes that use
Information Technology to help address national ,
regional or global problems
This research is aimed at demonstrating IT solutions
that can be used by countries to find, notify and
receive allowed transnational information about
suspicious and/or dangerous individuals who cross
borders
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
Participants and funding
Belize
Universities
Agencies

USA
University
of
Belize
CMU, NCSU
U. Colorado
U. Florida
U. Mass.
Ministry of
Health
Organization
of American
States
Dominican Republic
Pontificia
Universidad
Católica
Madre y
Maestra
National
Drug
Council
Funded by US National Science Foundation (5/02)
•
•
NSF funds basic research, not development
agencies responsible for infrastructure & staff time
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
Broad Context
• OAS Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism
•
(MEM)
Specifically the MEM indicator that deals
with Displacement
• The movement of persons and the effect of drug
trafficking and drug related activities across
borders
• Project comes as a direct result of the MEM
requirement
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
The TDG team

University researchers and staff members from OAS and
agencies in the US, Belize and Dominican Republic
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Carnegie Mellon University (J. Carbonell, V. Cavalli-Sforza)
North Carolina State University (A. Anton, Q. He)
University of Belize (C. McSweeney)
U. of Florida (J. Fortes, S. Su, A. Matsunaga, M. Patil, M. Tsugawa)
University of Colorado (R. Cole, W. Ward)
University of Massachusetts (D. Towsley, W. Chen)
U. Pontificia Católica Madre y Maestra (L. de Brens, J. Ventura, P.
Taveras)
OAS CICAD (B. Piñeres)
National Drug Abuse Control Council (Belize) (O. Brooks,
Immigration - G. Murillo)
Consejo National de Drogas (Dom. Rep.) (M. Herrera, A. Bautista)
Agencies in Belize and Dominican Republic
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
Why remote border control?

The participating countries considered
this critically important
• Border control addresses the influx of
immigrants, assists in identifying suspicious
travelers, assists in the protection of the
sovereignty of countries, provides valuable
information for the inter-national collaboration

Tracking movements of traffickers and
terrorists requires sharing information
across countries
• Presents research and execution challenges
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
Why Dominican Republic and Belize

Wonderful similarities
• Caribbean
• Land-locked borders with a country with which
•

“differences” exist
Air, water,land drug trafficking possibilities
Challenging differences – great for
research
• Language
• Culture
• Protocols
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
Research goals of the project
To advance the state-of-the-art of:
spoken dialogue systems, machine
translation, collaborative information
management,network performance
optimization, and software
requirements in the context of a
specific TDG process – the MEM.
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
A first system design
*SMSC: Short Message Service Center
US
(OAS)
Prototype System
Collaboration
Portal
DR
Belize
Internet
Event Registration and Discovery
ETR Server
Event Server
Translator
Event Notification and Data Delivery
Post
events
Dist. QP
query
DBMS
ETR Server
Query
Event Server
Post
events
Point
of
entry
Point
of
entry
Stations
with
Conv.
Interface
Stations
with
Conv.
Interface
Translator
Dist. QP
query
Data
entry
Data
entry
DB
*SMSC
Cell phone notification
Agencies
Agencies
People
People
Cell phone notification
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
DBMS
DB
*SMSC
Conceptual view
Dominican
Republic
Belize
Database Service
Dominican
Republic
Database Service
Belize
Translation Services
Translation Services
Español
Query Processor
Service
Dialogue Service
superdr
English
Internet
(Belize/Dominican
Republic/OAS/USA)
Query Processor
Service
Dialogue Service
superbe
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
Distributed Query Scenario
Dominican
Republic
Belize
Dominican
Database Service
Republic
Translation Services
Query
Español
Query Processor
Internet
Service
(Belize/Dominican
Republic/OAS/USA)
Result
Belize
Database Service
Translation Services
Query
English
Query Processor
Service
Result
Dialogue Service
superdr
Dialogue Service
superbe
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
Event-Trigger Scenario
Register Events
director
Event
Description
Country
Template
Event Register
Event Publication and
Subscription Registry
Subscription + Event Filter
Specification
Dominican
Republic
Event Server
Subscribe
Belize
Event Server
Translation Service
Suscripción
Arrest
PEntry
Event Filter Installation
Post Arrest
Translation Service
Internet
(OAS/Belize/US/
Dominican Republic)
Arrest Record
Language
Defendant
Witness
Victim
Notification
superdr
police
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
Enter Arrest
Record
Watch-List Scenario
director
Register Events
Event
Description
Country
Template
Dominican
Republic
Dominican
Republic
Belize
Internet
Forma de llegada
Fill Port of
Entry
Form
Database Service
(OAS/Belize/US/
Dominican Republic)
Alert
superdr
superbe
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
Watch list alert

Upon border crossing by individual on a
watch list, interested parties (who
subscribed to the event) are
automatically notified
• Person who posted the event is also notified
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
Translation at work

Multilingual processing uses “in the
background” a translation service
• A real-time view of translation at work
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
Dialogues instead of forms

Examples of the dialogues that are possible when forms
are replaced by conversational interfaces
• A real-time view of the system at work
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
Dialogue Examples

What is the date of entry for rosa perez?
dateofentry: 2002-11-08

What is her passport number and date of birth?
passportno: 44871849
dateofbirth: 1963-06-21

What about mingo garcia?
passportno: 2676356
dateofbirth: 1962-10-02

What are his nationality, passport number and occupation?
nationality: USA
passportno: 2676356
occupation: IMMIGRATION OFF
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
Ongoing work



Further development and integration of
the different software components of the
system
Collection of language data for Belize
and Dominican Republic
Field-testing and evaluation of system
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
The big vision



System extended to the entire
hemisphere
Good quality of service
Sharing of resources of all kind
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
Thank you so much for not
leaving,yawning and throwing
objects.
Questions??
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
What???
I said that’s it!
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
Examples of queries





Get the passport number, last name, first name, nationality and
date of entry of all those people who entered the country after
‘01-Jan-2003’ and whose nationality is ‘USA’.
Get the passport number, name, date of entry, port of
embarkation and purpose of trip for the people who came from
Chicago or from Boston for business after ‘01-Nov-2003’.
Get the passport number and name of the lady who had a tattoo
on her arm and who departed after 15-Jan-2003.
Get the passport number, name and comments for all the people
who appeared nervous when they entered the country.
Get the name, arrival information, departure information and
purpose of trip for all the people who entered the country after
‘01-Jan-2003’.
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
Translation Examples
 El
viajero se veía nervioso y tenso.
Traveler appeared nervous and tense.
 El viajero se presentó en la frontera sin documentos.
Passenger, presented himself at the border without
documents.
 Hablaba francés.
Spoke French.
 El viajero no entendía español.
The traveler not understood Spanish.
 No quería contestar a nuestras preguntas.
Not wanted answer to our men questions.
 Woman appears nervous.
La mujer parece nerviosa.
 Claim to be students studying archeology.
Afirman ser estudiantes, que estudian arqueología.
The University of Belize & the National Drug Abuse Control Council
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The Transnational Digital Government project