Investigating the Application of Common-Sense Knowledge-Base for Identifying Term Obfuscation in Adversarial Communication


Word obfuscation or substitution means replacing one word with another word in a sentence to conceal the textual content or communication. Word obfuscation is used in adversarial communication by terrorist or criminals for conveying their messages without getting red-flagged by security and intelligence agencies intercepting or scanning messages (such as emails and telephone conversations). ConceptNet is a freely available semantic network represented as a directed graph consisting of nodes as concepts and edges as assertions of common sense about these concepts. We present a solution approach exploiting vast amount of semantic knowledge in ConceptNet for addressing the technically challenging problem of word substitution in adversarial communication. We frame the given problem as a textual reasoning and context inference task and utilize ConceptNet’s natural-language-processing tool-kit for determining word substitution. We use ConceptNet to compute the conceptual similarity between any two given terms and define a Mean Average Conceptual Similarity (MACS) metric to identify out-of-context terms. The test-bed to evaluate our proposed approach consists of Enron email dataset (having over 600000 emails generated by 158 employees of Enron Corporation) and Brown corpus (totaling about a million words drawn from a wide variety of sources). We implement word substitution techniques used by previous researches to generate a test dataset. We conduct a series of experiments consisting of word substitution methods used in the past to evaluate our approach. Experimental results reveal that the proposed approach is effective.

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@article{Agarwal2017InvestigatingTA, title={Investigating the Application of Common-Sense Knowledge-Base for Identifying Term Obfuscation in Adversarial Communication}, author={Swati Agarwal and Ashish Sureka}, journal={CoRR}, year={2017}, volume={abs/1701.04934} }