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Project details

Biological Weapons Monitoring (BWM)

BioWeapons Monitor (BWM) volunteers all over the world contribute thousands of documents over the Internet, which are then processed (verified, classified, approved, and published on the Web) by BWPP personnel. The final entries are made available to the public on the BWM web site, where sophisticated search tools enable researchers to answer questions, such as "What UN resolutions were voted down by Cuba ?" or "What documents about health security were issued in 2002 by the WHO?"

Timeline 2004 -- present

The BioWeapons Monitor (BWM) is a database-driven document management system implemented as a multi-tier web application based on the Struts Tiles framework in Java. The complex relations between documents and other entities (topics, regions, actors, dates, etc.) are maintained by a PostgreSQL database and are searched by a powerful engine (implemented in PL/PGSQL), which provides various levels of complexity -- from simple Google-like full-text searches to structured relation searches with Boolean connectives based on disjunctive normal forms (DNF). Users can sharpen their research by additionally filtering and sorting the search results. The Struts framework and the application configuration data (kept in DB tables and XML files) make BWM easy to modify, extend, and maintain.

Database and Programming Languages

PostgreSQL / JSP, Java (Struts, Tiles)

Project size 100 formal documents (treaties, declarations, and UN resolutions) by 200 states, 3000 documents by 50 intergovernmental organiz

The BioWeapons Prevention Project (BWPP) was initiated by a group of non-governmental organizations with the goal of reducing the threat of biological weapons. Seated in Geneva , BWPP monitors governmental behavior and state compliance with international treaties and other agreements, especially those that outlaw hostile use of biotechnology.

To raise public awareness and influence governments against the use of disease as a weapon, the BWPP collects, verifies, classifies, and posts various documents, ranging from formal UN resolutions and international treaties to various letters, reports, academic publications, and news articles. To help its audience monitor the actions of governments, the BWPP also keeps data on Security Council resolution voting, treaty ratifications, etc.

The BWPP can maintain a fairly small staff, yet manage large amount of coherent data and help its world-wide audience to conduct research in bioweapons prevention.


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