Quantifying northern border risks

Quantifying northern border risks
Homeland security risk sciences
Past Projects


A novel data-driven model for quantifying the threats and consequences of northern border risks

While the U.S. Northern border remains an area of limited threat in comparison to the U.S. Southern border as concluded in the Northern Border Threat Analysis Report conducted by the DHS in 2017, protection and security of the Northern border presents unique challenges and has not been extensively studied. The 2018 DHS Northern Border Strategy points out that “the most common threat to U.S. public safety along the Northern border continues to be the bi-directional flow of illicit drugs.” Other threat streams include but are not limited to economic migrations, asylum seekers, and human trafficking. Threat streams and their associated consequences play a major role in defining risk impacts on Northern border security.


The objective of this project is to identify, quantify and interpret the relationship among threat streams and associated consequences of Northern border risks. This project uses a comprehensive, data-driven approach to quantifying the threats and consequences of Northern border risks. This project includes the following four specific aims: (1) identification and data collection of northern border risks; (2) quantifying threats of northern border risks; (3) quantifying consequences of northern border risks; and (4) resource allocation model.


Based on the results of the regression modeling and resource allocation models, a visualization and simulation toolkit appropriate for nontechnical executives, and a simple, practical decision-support tool to help managers understand the potential costs and benefits as a result of various inputs (e.g., border security countermeasure investment) will be developed. These decision-making tools will help Custom and Border Protection to answer questions and “what if” scenarios such as: What will be the impact of allocating funds to increase patrol agent staffing in a sector on the number of apprehensions at the border?

Research Leadership Team

Principal Investigator: Jun Zhuang, SUNY-Buffalo